J. Joksimović: European integration is a job for the whole society

27. November 2018. | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: European integration is a job for the whole society

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said today that European integration is a job for the whole society, but that the role of local self-governments is very important in this process, because the citizens can feel the positive side of the reforms on the local level the most.

At the 46th session of the Assembly of the Standing Conference of Cities and Municipalities, she has stated that the key matter in the process of integration is coordination between the national and the local level, and that the full involvement of local self-government is in line with the new approach to the cohesive policy that is being nurtured in the EU and whose motto is "a Europe closer to citizens".
"It coincides with what we want, and that is for the process of European integration to be a process of development throughout Serbia," Joksimović has said, adding that local self-governments should not wait for central government's instructions, but to effectively apply and implement the new standards and laws.

She has stressed the importance of active communication of the national level of governance with the local level, in order to obtain the analysis of needs and current conditions from them, and also for the local level to obtain information about the possibilities.

According to her, this is the most practical possible model of cooperation, the effects of which can be directly felt and observed by the citizens.

Joksimović has emphasized that the process of integration is the process of adopting new standards, followed by their implementation i.e. effective application.

The process of integration and reforms is a process which does not end with the membership, she has explained, stressing that it is a process of constant movement.

The citizens of the candidate countries, as well as the citizens of the Member States, will not always be one hundred percent sure whether being a part of the EU - although it is still the best place to live and work - is the best solution, she has said, but it is therefore important to "look and work jointly towards the same goal."
"The issue of transferring competencies from nation-states to the institutions of the EU represents a dilemma for the citizens of EU Member States today, since coordination and common view towards the same goal is essential in this matter; hence, it is very important that we all understand this," she has said.

She has added that the current government has never justified the reforms it implements, which have often been difficult and unpopular, by demands coming from Brussels, and that the creation of a negative perception of citizens in regards to the EU and the process of accession has thus been avoided.

The minister has said that, at this stage, it is important for Serbia to do everything in its power in order for the citizens and local self-governments to use the money from EU funds, and to avoid the sometimes unnecessary borrowing.
"Implementation is a job for the whole society, and it is not divided between the local and national level," Joksimović has emphasized.  She has added and emphasized that, when it comes to using the assets from the pre-accession funds, "we are better than everyone in the region".

The process of integration has not "commenced yesterday", and is often conditioned by objective circumstances within the EU itself.
"I think that our pace is solid. There are, of course, areas such as environmental protection that are challenging, both in terms of time and capacities, but the most important is the team work; hence, I would like to use this occasion to ask of the mayors and representatives of local self-governments to actively implement the European integration policy, which is our national foreign policy priority and in the best interest of citizens," she has concluded.

Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government Branko Ružić has said that the public administration reform is one of three pillars that make way for the European future of Serbia, adding that local self-governments are "actually the main pillar of all these reforms".

He has said that the local level is a landmark providing the inputs that indicate the problems and challenges.
"Education is important as well, and the intention is for every employee working at the local level to apply each regulation in the same manner," he has said.

Ruzić has also stressed the importance of co-ordination, adding that everything is heading in the right direction.
"I am satisfied with the understanding of the whole process by the local self-government - it can be better, but it is nevertheless fine. The core is to transform the mentality, and we have succeeded in doing that. We are not implementing the reforms for the sake of Brussels, but to achieve the standard of living that exists in Europe, because we are a part of Europe," he has concluded.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, has said that in 2018 the EU had put the Western Balkans as a priority in its agenda.

He has added that the EU system is unique in the world, and that its regulations and laws are not limitations but rather an opportunity for the future members.

According to him, it is important for the local level to cooperate closely with the national level, and when the country finally joins the EU it must have a public administration that will be efficient, transparent and that will possess the capacities to implement the laws and use the assets from the funds.

Fabrizi has said that the process of European integration is a road that has no end, and that the countries shall face many challenges even after joining the EU.

He has said that, in addition to adopting regulations and applying them, an important next step is the social acceptance of such changes.

Swedish Ambassador to Serbia Jan Lundin has said that Sweden is advocating the enlargement policy, but that the process is "full of challenges."

He has said that Serbia should not give up, because the European integration leads to a stable and sustainable society.

According to him, citizens may doubt at any time that the EU membership is the right path to take, so there is a constant struggle in which the government's task is to show that the whole process of European integration is very important and that it makes sense.
"The EU is also a political project, and not just a welfare project. The process towards the EU and within the EU is a permanent process that does not cease once a country joins the EU, as there will always be dilemmas among the citizens. However, it is important to stay on that path," he has said.

He has concluded that the experiences of countries like Sweden should be shown to people, so that they may clearly see that the path towards the EU is an excellent solution.

Source: Tanjug

 

 

 

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО

 

Министар за европске интеграције Јадранка Јоксимовић на на 46. седници скупштине СКГО