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J. Joksimović: I expect acceleration of negotiations by clusters

January 14 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: I expect acceleration of negotiations by clusters

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has met today with Portuguese Ambassador Maria Da Silva Pina, and has expressed her belief that, despite the COVID-19 crisis, the pace of EU membership negotiations under the new methodology will be accelerated, with full acknowledgement of the progress Serbia has so far made within 6 negotiation clusters.

As Portugal took over the six-month EU Council presidency on 1 January 2021, Joksimović has introduced the Portuguese Ambassador with the set of reforms the new Government of Serbia has initiated, which form a crucial part of the internal political agenda, particularly those in the area of the rule of law.

According to the Ministry of European Integration, Joksimović and Maria Da Silva Pina have also discussed the current EU presidency of Portugal, Serbia’s European integration, bilateral matters, and the situation in the region.

Joksimović has expressed gratitude for the support the Portuguese Government has been providing to Serbia’s EU accession process. 

She has stressed her expectation that, during the Portuguese EU Council presidency in the first half of the year, Serbia will receive detailed instructions regarding the application of the new negotiation methodology, which is based on clusters of main EU common policies, and a roadmap for its implementation.

“The European Commission introduced a new way of negotiating with countries in the accession process in order to implement the EU enlargement policy with more efficiency and credibility, and therefore, I believe that, despite the COVID-19 crisis, will have the opportunity to accelerate the pace of EU membership negotiations, with full acknowledgement of the results we have achieved so far”, said Joksimović.

Joksimović has emphasised that the holding of the Intergovernmental Conference is important for Serbia, as that would be a chance to have a high-level political discussion about key issues regarding the manner of future EU membership negotiations.

She has noted that the goal is for Serbia to be organisationally, administratively and financially fully prepared to adopt the European Commission’s recommendations, to align the national legislation with the EU acquis, and to meet other strict criteria for completing the negotiations.

Ambassador Pina has stated that Portugal has always been an advocate of the EU enlargement policy, particularly of the EU accession of Serbia, which, according to her, has made significant progress in EU membership negotiations.

She has also presented the priorities of the Portuguese presidency. According to her, Portugal is presiding over the EU at a very complicated moment in time, both due to the pandemic and due to the fight for economic recovery and implementation of measures at EU level in the area of health and social protection.

“The Portuguese presidency is based on five principles – a Europe that is resilient, social, digital, ‘green’ and global”, stressed Pina, adding that the common denominator for all those principles is sustainability based on the core values of the Union.

Joksimović and Pina have agreed that the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and IPA funds intended for Serbia offer a framework for Serbia to enter the ‘green’ and innovative investment cycle, in line with the agenda of developed EU countries, and to thus fulfil the expectations of the citizens who support its European path.

Source: Tanjug