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J. Joksimović and Blok: Progress in accordance with the criteria within the negotiations framework

November 04 2019 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović and Blok: Progress in accordance with the criteria within the negotiations framework

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has talked with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephanus Blok on the continuation of Serbia’s European integration and cooperation between the two countries in that process, the reform activities, situation within the region and the EU, bilateral relations and other topics.

Minister has thanked the Netherlands, as Serbia’s important partner in the accession process, for the support and technical and expert assistance it has been providing to Serbia in the European integration process. She has also pointed out the importance of the principle of measuring progress in the European integration process according to the individual performance of each candidate country, and has expressed her expectations that the Netherlands will, just as it has been doing so far, advocate such strict but fair approach.

She has stressed that Serbia has been clearly committed to continuing the accession process, not only due to the fact that the EU membership is a strategic foreign-policy interest supported by more than 50 percent of pro-European citizens, but also because of the opportunity to promote the state and society through that process. Joksimović has pointed out that reforms are being implemented with a high level of responsibility. She has stressed that this has also been proven by the fact that companies from the Netherlands are among the leading companies in terms of their presence on the Serbian market. As she has noted, particularly important are the reform activities in the segment of economy and the rule of law, which contribute to a favourable economic environment and serve as confirmation to foreign investors.

Minister has stressed that the new Media Strategy – which has been sent to Brussels for opinion, has covered measures for improved safety of journalists, as advocated by media associations in an inclusive process. She has informed Blok that all reported cases of threats to journalists have either been processed, or are at the evidence gathering stage.

Joksimović has informed Blok that Serbia has established a comprehensive anti-corruption legal framework and that the Parliament now has to work on the adoption of amendments related to the holders of judiciary positions. She has expressed her expectation that, considering the undertaken activities, the EU Member States will support the opening of new chapters during Finland's Presidency of the EU Council.

Minister Blok has affirmed that the Netherlands will continue to support Serbia’s European integration, guided by the principle that each candidate country’s progress on its European path depends on its individual results. He has emphasized the importance and results of implementing demanding reforms, especially in the field of economy, but also in the field of the rule of law, and has stressed that they should be intensified.

Blok has assessed that Serbia has been doing important work and making significant progress in the accession process, as well as within the context of constructive regional cooperation.

Joksimović and Blok have assessed that the bilateral relation of the two countries are good and that there is mutual interest in intensifying them. This particularly concerns economic cooperation, as the Netherlands is one of the largest investors in the Serbian economy.

Source: Tanjug