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J. Joksimović: Europe’s sustainability possible through adoption of new policies

November 23 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Europe’s sustainability possible through adoption of new policies

The European Union, i.e. the entire European continent, including Serbia which is not yet an EU member state but a candidate country, have shown, during the COVID-19 crisis, that they are capable and sustainable, as stated today by Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, who has stressed that they have only succeeded owing to resilience.

In her introductory remarks at a panel titled ‘How Europe will look after the COVID-19 crisis’ organised within the online Belgrade Economic Forum, Joksimović has said that this resilience has been demonstrated through the adoption of new future-oriented policies, as well as predictions that flexibility and new models are the right road to take, as it has become obvious that different policies have to be used.

According to her, the six new directions of the EU, defined by the new European Commission, are strategic and provide for achieving sustainability and social transition in new models of economic growth and sustainability.

Joksimović has stressed that some of the priorities include digitisation and green transformation, as well as a green and blue Europe, which is a new economic policy that should lead to a renewed economic growth, but that also can and should lead to the self-renewability of the environment.

She believes that Serbia, as an EU candidate country, has also timely recognised and actively supported all new strategic paths promoted by the new EC composition.

She has added that the new strategic paths coincided with the COVID-19 crisis which requires new, specific and qualitatively different instruments.

“Serbia has recognised that through multiple directions, some of which have been mentioned in the EC annual progress report that attracted a lot of attention due to certain critical assessments in some areas, but what was unjustly disregarded was the fact that the report thoroughly recognised that Serbia fits into this kind of new directions and policies, not only economic and monetary policies in the narrow sense, but also elements of Green Agenda connectivity, and all other matters without which we cannot speak of our sustainable economy”, said Joksimović

She has added that the aforementioned was positively assessed in the EC progress report, with all invitations to further reforms in the area of the rule of law, because, according to her, the goal is for the EU, and therefore Serbia as well, but also for all countries on the European continent, to show that they are capable of protecting their citizens.

Joksimović has emphasised that it is now necessary to show that countries are capable of not only defending and protecting their citizens in the ordinary sense of the word, but also of ensuring a sustainable provision of supplies and sustainable life for all citizens by doing all that is necessary, without undermining the rule of law and fundamental European values.

She has said that this has also been recognised by the Government of Serbia, which has committed to accelerating the European path.    

The pandemic itself and the COVID-19 crisis is, above all, a human crisis, said Joksimović, adding that the crisis has been strongly underpinned by unsustainable social models and behaviour for decades, possibly even longer.

“This is now obvious even to the loudest proponents of the status quo. It is evident that we cannot keep doing things the way we used to”, stressed the Minister.

She believes that the situation with the coronavirus is prolonged and that it will not end even with the discovery of the vaccine, because, according to her, people will not be safe until the majority of the global population is vaccinated.

“The upcoming years will require large investments, great efforts, and, above all, joint cooperation and solidarity”, stated Joksimović, adding that the EU demonstrated this solidarity after a minor confusion at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

She has stated that the EU has demonstrated mutual solidarity, as well as solidarity with the Western Balkan countries, adding that Serbia responded identically.

Joksimović also believes that the “mini-Schengen” initiative, launched by the Serbian Government and primarily by President Aleksandar Vučić, closely follows those trends and mega-trends in the EU.

“We have invested a lot in connectivity, in better relations, in economic growth, in the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, in connectivity aimed at growth, new jobs, and, above all, economy based on knowledge, innovation, digitisation and the Green Agenda”, said Joksimović.

She has noted that those are the ways to achieve new growth and that that is exactly the new economic policy that was developed before the COVID-19 crisis, but that gained its full sense and meaning during the crisis.

“Serbia remains strongly committed to the European path and all reforms; priorities change because the situation is such that people’s health is currently a priority, but this does in no way diminish other reform processes that we initiated and that we, together with the EU and partners from the region, want to implement for the sake of our citizens and the citizens of the entire Union and the European continent”, noted Joksimović.

She has concluded that this will create a responsible, capable and competent Europe.

Source: Tanjug