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Brnabić and Borrell: Political and economic aspects of negotiations

December 17 2020 | Belgrade

Brnabić and Borrell: Political and economic aspects of negotiations

Today’s Stabilisation and Association Council meeting between Serbia and the EU has welcomed the overall progress Serbia has so far achieved in the accession negotiations and its acceptance of the enhanced enlargement methodology that should accelerate Serbia’s accession to the EU, and has reaffirmed the EU’s support to Serbia’s path towards membership, as stated in the Government of Serbia.

“There has been an exchange of opinions on the current political and socio-economic situation in Serbia, primarily on the further pace of EU accession negotiations, cooperation within the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and on regional cooperation at the Western Balkans. In this regard, appreciation has been shown of the fact that the new Government has established priorities that include EU integration, preservation of public health and economic growth, and normalisation of relations with Pristina”, as stated in the press release.

At today’s Stabilisation and Association Council meeting that has been held online due to the pandemic, the Serbian delegation has been headed by Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović. The EU Delegation has been headed by head of diplomacy Josep Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi. Borrell has particularly thanked Prime Minister Brnabić for her participation, given that it is not a usual format, but that it unequivocally shows how much importance the Serbian Government places on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and Serbia’s European path.

The meeting has served to discuss the current relations between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union, notably Serbia’s EU accession process, while political and economic criteria, alignment of national legislation with the EU acquis and the realisation of the EU pre-accession assistance have also been the topics of conversation.

“The meeting has offered a timely opportunity to review Serbia’s progress in the accession negotiations and priorities for further work within the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the European integration process. EU representatives have reiterated the EU’s commitment to the European future of Serbia, advocating proactive and strategic communication between Serbia and the EU”, reads the Government’s statement.

The Government of Serbia has stated that there have also been talks about the way in which Serbia is tackling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in terms of resolving the health crisis and in terms of overcoming the effects on the economy and the implementation of reforms.

The participants have agreed that good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation are the key elements of the enlargement process, and, in this regard, they have welcomed the continuation of the Belgrade–Pristina dialogue and Serbia’s consistent commitment to the process.

The EU representatives have welcomed Serbia’s significant contribution to military missions and operations, as well as Serbia’s participation in the EU Battlegroups, emphasising the importance of deepening cooperation in terms of foreign policy.

The participants have also supported the Common Regional Market, which the Western Balkan leaders launched on 10 November at the Sofia Summit, recalling that the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, the European Commission adopted on 6 October 2020, provides a comprehensive framework for support to the economic convergence between the Republic of Serbia and the EU region. 

Source: Tanjug