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J. Joksimović: Serbia recognised as a country of first-rate capacities for reforms and integration

February 04 2020 | Brussels

J. Joksimović: Serbia recognised as a country of first-rate capacities for reforms and integration

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said in Brussels that Serbia's commitment to continue along the EU path is non-disputable, but also that the EU must finally speak with one voice about the enlargement policy.

After meeting with the European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčík, Jadranka Joksimović has said that Serbia has been recognised as an important partner and an acceding country, and also as a future EU Member State that will be able to contribute to the prosperity of the Union.

She has announced that Bilčík, as EP rapporteur for Serbia, will prepare a proposal of the resolution in the coming months, which will be adopted by the European Parliament by the end of the year.

"It is important that we regularly exchange all that Serbia is doing in the reform process with Mr. Bilčík, especially in the area of the rule of law, economy and other important issues for Serbia and our European integration process," Joksimović has said.

Joksimović has said that she has talked with Bilčík about the upcoming EU-Western Balkans Summit to be held in Zagreb in May, as well as about the Conference on the Future of Europe, which is scheduled to take place in the next two years.

"It is important for the views of the countries in the accession process and candidate countries to be part of a broader debate. Serbia has shown many initiatives in this regard. We constantly talk and share our expectations and attitudes in Belgrade, Brussels and other capitals. I think that Serbia is recognised as a serious country, with first-rate capacities regarding both the reforms and integration," Joksimović has said.

She has pointed to the fact that EU developments will produce a new enlargement policy that may be "more dynamic, but also decelerating".

Joksimović has assessed that this depends on how Member States will agree on which direction the EU and Europe should take.

The has recalled that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, which provided that "there can be no united and free Europe unless it spans from the Arctic all the way down to the Mediterranean."

"It's up to us to do our part. We will not shy from this, primarily for the benefit of our citizens. On the other hand, it is important for the EU to finally speak with one voice about the enlargement policy," Joksimović has said.

She has added that Serbia understands that there are different interests and visions, but that it is important to understand which direction has been taken, to hear "one voice of the EU" and to create, in this respect, the dynamics and roadmap that Serbia may follow in the reform process.

"I reiterated that Serbia's unquestionable commitment is to continue along the European path. Reforms are visible at every step, both in the lives of our citizens and in what we can measure as progress in key areas of the economy and the rule of law," Joksimović has said.

The has noted that there are expectations that Serbia can do both faster and better.

"And it surely can, but it would be unfair to say that Serbia is falling behind and losing its breath in regards to reforms. Serbia is neither falling behind nor losing its breath. We are progressing at a good pace, and I would like if the pace of the opening of negotiation chapters were even faster and congruent with what we are doing," Joksimović has concluded.

Source: Tanjug