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J. Joksimović and EU HoMs on continuation of Serbia’s European integration

October 30 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović and EU HoMs on continuation of Serbia’s European integration

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has had an exchange of views with the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, and EU member states’ heads of missions about priorities and outlooks of EU accession negotiations.

The new Government of Serbia is ready to intensify the reforms that are the precondition for further progress in the European integration process and for the overall sustainable development of the Serbian society and economy, which has been confirmed at the meeting, according to the MEI press release.

In this context, Minister Joksimović has reiterated Serbia’s commitment to objectively review the recommendations presented in the European Commission’s annual Report and take actions that will accelerate the already initiated reforms in key areas.

At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Joksimović presented priorities of the Ministry of European Integration for the upcoming period, both regarding the European integration process and further EU accession negotiations, and regarding the planning and programming of development assistance the EU will provide through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance III.

Ambassador Fabrizi has congratulated the Minister on her reelection, expressing his wish for the intensive and constructive cooperation to continue.

He has stressed that the EU, as the largest donor and investor and the most important trade economic partner of Serbia, will continue to be fully committed to Serbia’s accession process.

The Head of the EU Delegation has reiterated the importance of the recently adopted Economic and Investment Plan and recommendations contained in the Annual Report for 2020 regarding the acceleration of Serbia’s integration, particularly in the area of the rule of law.

Joksimović has expressed her expectation that, in accordance with the new methodology that Serbia accepted at the highest political level, the Intergovernmental Conference will be held by the end of the year, where Serbia would present its results and strategy for EU accession for the upcoming year.

The Minister has emphasised that the new Government has a clear political will to define the essential and overarching political issues stemming from the EU accession process in the context of the broadest social consensus, and that the new Government has a programme course on which it will continue to accelerate the process of reforms necessary for advancing on the road to EU membership.

Joksimović has thanked the EU and its member states for the funds they have so far approved from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance II, which includes immediate assistance in emergency situations such as floods or the COVID-19 pandemic.

As particularly important, she has mentioned the fact that, this summer, Serbia submitted to the European Commission proposals for financing from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance III and the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans, including proposals covered in the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

Furthermore, she has informed the EU HoMs that Serbia submitted the application for the EU Solidarity Fund, which is an additional instrument of EU assistance, adding that the EC will approve assistance from that instrument in the following months.

The Minister and EU HoMs have agreed to continue constructive cooperation, particularly during the pandemic, in order to address identified challenges on Serbia’s path to EU membership, and in order to maximise on the opportunities offered by the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

Source: Tanjug