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Joksimović to Minić: Modernise and innovate the work of the European Movement, don’t you worry about MEI

August 30 2020 | Belgrade

Joksimović to Minić: Modernise and innovate the work of the European Movement, don’t you worry about MEI

Today, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has responded to Jelica Minić, the President of the European Movement in Serbia, who has assessed MEI’s work as lethargic and Serbia’s European path as moving at a snail’s pace, saying that it is the European Movement that has for years been successfully lethargic and that she should modernise and innovate the work of that organisation instead of worrying about MEI.

“The only one that has been successfully lethargic has been the European Movement that very well feels it has lost credibility and impetus because it is filled with lethargic representatives of the former conceited pro-European avant-garde who think they have been self-chosen and invited to lead the European process,” said Joksimović.

She has assessed that snail’s pace and lethargy are the best self-description given by the representatives of the European Movement who, for over a decade, have been thinking that they are untouchable because they carry the light of the European idea that has long surpassed them. “They mainly left the public administration system when it became obvious that they did not possess sufficiently innovative knowledge, talent, diligence and energy to perform a comprehensive and strategically wide scope of tasks followed by the structural change from the Office into the Ministry,” said Joksimović, adding that “preachers and critics of the speed of Serbia’s European path were the ones carrying the principal idea of European integration that they allegedly promoted and advocated in the Office”. 

“So, they had no strict and clear structure that would have the capacity to coordinate the overall negotiation process, activities at the inter-ministerial level, the programming of IPA funds and preparations for structural funds. And then they did not like that the Ministry was formed in full capacity in 2017 and that the Minister was not to their liking, because their circle had lost its conceited mission,” stressed Joksimović.

She has emphasised that they carried out the mission in a way that it took 14 years from 2000 to open the official negotiations with the EU, which did not even happen during the rule of the political structure that the European Movement and their President Minić support.

“Because they implemented precisely zero reforms. But we as a party, which was also the backbone of the Government in 2014, and Vučić as the then Prime Minister and current President, and I as the line minister since 2014, we were the ones to initiate the most important and fundamental reforms and open in early stages chapters 23 and 24, at a time when the process was incomparably more demanding and when the enlargement policy was far less popular than when they were in power and when they did neither know nor wanted to use any of the favourable circumstance of that time to the benefit of Serbia and its citizens,” stated the Minister.

She has said that, in such unfavourably changed circumstances, Serbia has managed to open the most difficult chapters and to now have five negotiation chapters prepared for opening in addition to already more than a half of opened chapters, that it was recognised as the frontrunner in the 2018 Credible Enlargement Strategy, and that it has multiple times been awarded for excellent performance in programming IPA funds, “which the former experts and politicians, whose exit from the public administration system Minić is lamenting over, kept so hidden and non-transparent that almost none of the citizens or local governments knew of them.”

Joksimović has stressed that today the citizens are well-aware of IPA funds and concrete projects, all the way to the local level.

“And let me say to Ms Minić that I had a career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which across the region works according to the model of ‘successors’ and whose pattern is apparently difficult but possible to limit and introduce a clear meritocratic principle becoming of democratic societies, and that I am all but lethargic, which everyone in our public administration system and – without being modest – across European capitals knows. And that is acknowledged and respected, notably the work of the Ministry of European Integration”, stated Joksimović.

She has recommended to the President and the members of the European Movement more work and energy, more knowledge and reading, and less lamenting over the passage of time which now requires new ways of communication, work and skills. 

“And please learn that European integration is a task for the entire society, not just for the self-invited elite, and take a look around – it is no longer 2005. And whenever you have a useful idea, feel free to address MEI for any kind support. Because, as I have said, European integration is a process of cooperation and synergy between all stakeholders in the society, and not the property of the chosen and a field for political games. And if that is how you understand your mission, you will always get our response, because that is democracy and a European value. So, modernise, refresh and innovate the work of the European Movement, do not worry about MEI – we do our job in a committed, responsible and diligent way, and MEI employees are professional, meticulous and dedicated people who work for the benefit of all Serbian citizens,” concluded Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug