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J. Joksimović: Active dialogue between Serbia and France on negotiations and new methodology

January 15 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Active dialogue between Serbia and France on negotiations and new methodology

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has talked today with French Ambassador Jean-Louis Falconi about Serbia’s EU accession negotiations, new methodology under which they should continue, and about bilateral cooperation and relations in the region.

Ambassador Falconi has conveyed the invitation the French Minister for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, extended to Minister Joksimović for a bilateral meeting in late January, which Joksimović gladly accepted, as reported by the Ministry. 

Bearing in mind the latest tightening of measures in France, the Ambassador and Joksimović have discussed the possibility of holding the meeting in a digital form.

Joksimović has stressed that the invitation shows Minister Beaune’s and France’s genuine interest and openness to the enlargement policy and Serbia’s European integration, despite the current global health crisis.

“The European Commission has introduced a new way of negotiating with the aim of accelerating the pace of the reforms implemented in candidate countries and making the EU enlargement policy more credible, as high European officials have recently stated on multiple occasions”, emphasised the Minister.

She has added that Serbia has accepted those changes, completely trusting that the progress it has made so far will also be valorised in the new cluster methodology.

Joksimović has informed the French Ambassador about the reforms that the new Government of Serbia has initiated following EU recommendations, particularly about those in the area of the rule of law.

“We have France’s significant expert assistance in this task, for which we are very grateful to President Macron and your Government”, stressed Joksimović.

She has added that Serbia expects that, at the beginning of this year, it will receive detailed instructions regarding the realisation of the new negotiation methodology based on clusters of key EU common policies, as well as a clear roadmap for its implementation.

Joksimović has also introduced the French Ambassador with the arguments in favour of holding the Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia soon, where key issues regarding the continuation of EU membership negotiations would be discussed at a high political level.

“In addition to expressing a clear political will, the EU expects from us to be organisationally and financially prepared to align the national legislation with the EU acquis and meet other strict criteria for completing the negotiations, which is our key task at the moment with regard to negotiations”, said Joksimović.

She has stressed that the new Government of Serbia is unequivocally ready to continue the European integration process in order to meet the expectations that the citizens have from the Government of Serbia, as well as from the EU.

Ambassador Falconi has stated that France has been one of the initiators of the new membership negotiations methodology so that the credibility of the EU enlargement policy would be preserved.

He has added that France supports Serbia’s accession, under the condition that it consistently implements all necessary reforms, particularly given the already achieved progress and the Serbian Government’s commitment to the European path.

The interlocutors have agreed that it is possible even in this highly complex moment for the EU and the region due to the pandemic and due to the efforts invested into a faster economic recovery.

They have agreed that the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and IPA funds regularly allocated for Serbia offer the most important framework for Serbia to connect with the economies of developed EU countries.

Falconi and Joksimović have also discussed the matter of development cooperation between France and Serbia, which will be additionally improved through a greater participation of French companies on the Serbian market.

Source: Tanjug