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Joksimović: The focus is no longer on individual chapters, but on clusters and strategic dialogue

December 05 2020 | Belgrade

Joksimović: The focus is no longer on individual chapters, but on clusters and strategic dialogue

Serbian Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has commented today on a statement made by Viola von Cramon who has said that it is good that the European Commission will not be opening new chapters with Serbia for now, assessing that the member of the European Parliament is openly politically critical of the Serbian Government and that her tweet “is really nothing more than a political bias, which has become so entrenched among certain members of some political groups in the EP”.

“For starters, they should get informed and read the content of the new methodology, which the Prime Minister and I discussed with the EC President yesterday”, stressed Joksimović.

In her statement for Tanjug, she has emphasised that the application of the new methodology on Serbia’s accession process should be defined as a matter of urgency, as it is currently delayed because the member states and the EC cannot agree on the negotiating frameworks for North Macedonia and Albania, for which the new methodology was initially created.

“Chapters are no longer the main instrument of the process, now it is the meeting of the criteria for the opening of entire clusters of related chapters, along with strong political steering of the process. Perhaps, the opening of individual chapters will no longer be important for the opening of clusters, but there may be a specific opening criteria or, for example, a good track record in all chapters within a given cluster; we will see after the application of the new methodology on countries in the accession process is defined”, stated Joksimović.

She has added that, for Serbia, it is important that a special political Intergovernmental Conference be held, which is mandatory under the principles of the new methodology upon the announcement of the Conclusions on Enlargement.

“Therefore, I expect – and I said this to all partners in the EU – that, by the end of the German presidency, it would be good to apply the part of the methodology that can be applied in this stage, which is the holding of a political Intergovernmental Conference, where a strategic and political dialogue would be conducted on Serbia’s accession process and progress in the areas defined within 6 clusters, and where the latest positive steps of the new Serbian Government in the area of the rule of law would be presented, as well as expectations and plans for the accession process in the upcoming year”, said Joksimović.

She has noted that a meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Council will be held at the highest political level on 17 December, which will also offer the opportunity to analyse the key aspects of political and economic relations between Serbia, as a country in the accession process, and the EU.

Source: Tanjug