J. Joksimović: EU to remove the monitoring of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement from Chapter 35
March 11 2019 | Bucharest
Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said today that Pristina adopted a platform that completely negates the Brussels Agreement six years after its signing, by which it has clearly confirmed that it has no intention of carrying out its obligations.
"I have reported on the latest developments related to the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue and on the fact that, six years after the signing of the Brussels Agreement, one of the parties adopted a platform - in its assembly, nonetheless - which not only completely negates the Brussels Agreement that was, inter alia, signed by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, which in turn resulted in the Brussels Agreement becoming a part of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, but also clearly confirms that Pristina has no intention of implementing the obligations it undertook by singing the Agreement," Joksimović has said in her statement to Tanjug.
According to her, this puts Serbia in a somewhat unusual situation where its negotiations include Chapter 35 that should monitor the implementation of what has been agreed under the Brussels Agreement, and that for Serbia, as a candidate country, has always been designated as one of the most important chapters based on which other chapters will be opened.
"For this reason, I have said at the meeting that we expect this issue to not be raised further in our negotiations for as long as this situation remains, where one side completely denies and ultimately fails to implement the Brussels Agreement, even going so far as to clearly emphasise this," Joksimović has said while attending an informal meeting of ministers and state secretaries in charge of the European affairs of the EU candidate countries in Bucharest.
She has added that mentioning this was very important because, in addition to Chapters 23 and 24, which are undoubtedly important for the negotiation process and the opening of other chapters, the normalisation of relations and the implementation of what has been agreed under the Brussels Agreement is constantly mentioned.
Joksimović has stressed that Serbia has done its part.
"I hope that the European Union will now try to find a way to remove the content regarding the monitoring of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement from Chapter 35, for as long as Pristina behaves in such an unconstructive way," she has said.
As for Serbia’s expectations regarding the opening of new chapters during the Romanian presidency, Minister Joksimović has said that she has stressed in Bucharest that Serbia has fully prepared five negotiating positions.
"Bearing in mind all the reforms in the rule of law, as well as economic reforms, despite the fact that the Progress Report will be published after the European elections, which will leave little time for the Member States to analyse the report, but given everything that Serbia has done with regard to the reform process and regional stability, I have expressed my expectation that we will open new chapters.”
“Whether we will open one, two or three chapters - I do not know, and cannot promise it to our citizens, but our clear expectation is that new chapters should be opened with Serbia by the end of the Romanian presidency," Joksimović has said.
She has expressed her expectation that the EU and the Member States will start speaking with one voice about the future of the enlargement policy, because it is important for Serbia and because Serbia has to create and adjust its domestic agenda with what will be the EU enlargement policy.
According to her, it remains to be seen after the elections which position the new institutions and the new structure will take regarding the enlargement policy.
"We believe that it will remain high on the agenda as credible, including everything else related to Serbia’s European integration process that, despite all these circumstances that are arising, will undoubtedly remain the most important instrument of our domestic development policy and our foreign policy goal," said the Minister.
Speaking about the Bucharest meeting, Joksimović has said that Romania invited the candidate countries - Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Turkey, to a meeting where members discussed the expectations related to the continuation of the negotiations process during the Romanian EU Council presidency, broadening the discussion to the issues concerning the EU and the messages that come from the EU which are rather different from one another.
"In that sense, I have asked on behalf of Serbia to receive much clearer messages from the EU about the future of the enlargement process, conveying that, from now on, we expect the EU to start speaking with one voice about the future of the enlargement policy," said Joksimović.
"We all know the story about the challenges that the EU is now facing in this pre-election period, but this is no justification for the need to proceed with the negotiation process in a clear way, acting credibly and respecting what has been agreed," Joksimović has concluded.