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J. Joksimović with the EP Delegation: Serbia - a serious candidate and important partner to the EU

December 02 2019 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović with the EP Delegation: Serbia - a serious candidate and important partner to the EU

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has met with the European Parliament's delegation consisting of the MP and the Chair of the EPP political group, Manfred Weber, and rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik.

Jadranka Joksimović has informed the interlocutors about the current situation in the European integration process and Serbia’s plans and activities in the course of accession. She has stressed that Serbia is committed to continuing the European integration process and implementing the reforms that are seen as the best model for progress, as well as for the overall development of the state and society. She has pointed out that reforms in the field of the rule of law, judicial reform, the fight against crime and corruption, freedom of media and the economy are particularly important for Serbia and its citizens, and that they are given special significance. According to her, the effect of the reforms in these areas have also been recognized by foreign investors through increased interest in investing into Serbian economy.

The Minister also believes that it is precisely because of the positive results of the reforms - primarily in the area of rule of law, that Serbia should open one or two - out of four technically prepared negotiation chapters, by the end of the year. In this regard, she has expressed her expectation that an Intergovernmental Conference will be held by the end of the year, when the Finnish EU Council Presidency ends. This would also confirm that the new EC will continue to implement a credible enlargement policy - an act which was established in 2018 by the previous EC composition. Joksimović has also stressed the importance of positive statements by the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on the European future of the region.

In addition, the Minister has also noted that the Inter-Ministerial Working Group on Cooperation and Meeting the Recommendations of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has already made concrete conclusions regarding further improvements in electoral conditions, which is, above all, a responsible behaviour towards the Serbian citizens.

Jadranka Joksimović has also specified that it would be very important for Belgrade if the EU presented its interests and established a model for the continuation of the enlargement policy. She has said that Serbia understands the circumstances within the EU, and its need to change, but that Serbia also expects that the process of accession negotiations would not decelerate even further.

The Minister of European Integration has stressed that the initiative of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, which has been supported by Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, is the best example of Serbia's commitment to encourage and strengthen regional cooperation and connectivity in the region, in line with the EU's best values and aspirations, because the free movement of people, goods and capital are fundamental values of the EU.

Members of the EP delegation Weber and Bilcik have stressed that Serbia's European perspective is important - both for the EU itself and for the region. The visit of the EP delegation and the EPP Group, just after the EC was formed, confirms this. They have stressed that Serbia's progress in the European integration process should be valorised in accordance with the results achieved, thus restoring the credibility of the EU's commitment to the enlargement policy. At the same time, they have confirmed that the EP would continue to support Serbia’s European path. They have assessed that Serbia has affirmed itself as a reliable candidate for EU accession, as a country that the EU can count on and as an important factor in the stability of the region. At the same time, they have emphasised that the enlargement policy will be one of the priorities in the work of the European Parliament and the new European Commission.

Weber and Joksimović have agreed that SNS (Serbian Progressive Party) is a very active and significant associate member of the EPP, which is an additional platform of cooperation and better insight into European policy directions.

Source: Tanjug