Information News

J. Joksimović: New methodology for greater credibility of negotiations

February 08 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: New methodology for greater credibility of negotiations

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has had an online video-meeting with Clément Beaune, the Minister of State for European Affairs at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. They have discussed Serbia’s European integration, particularly the new negotiation methodology, and other current bilateral issues important for the relations between the two countries in the terms of the negotiation process.

Minister Joksimović has stated that Serbia appreciates the efforts made by France, which initiated the debate within the EU about the new EU negotiation methodology that the European Commission consequently proposed last year, thus creating a basis for EU accession negotiations to be accelerated and become more efficient, predictable and credible for all sides in the negotiations.

“Serbia has understood the change in methodology as a chance to accelerate negotiations on its part by accelerating the reforms necessary for EU membership. Although we are well-advanced in the negotiation process, we have decided to accept the new way of negotiations, convinced that the European Commission will soon present a detailed plan, with criteria for future negotiations within six clusters representing six EU sector policies”, stressed Joksimović.
Beaune and Joksimović have agreed that good and fruitful relations between Serbia and France also require regular and open political meetings between the two presidents – Aleksandar Vučić and Emmanuel Macron, as a basis for further improvement of overall bilateral relations and for strengthening France’s support to Serbia in joining the European Union under strict but fair conditions.

Therefore, today’s meeting represents the continuation of an active dialogue on the new methodology and the continuation of membership negotiations.

“The new way of negotiation should ensure that, in the first half of the year, a high-level intergovernmental conference is organised as a key format for political dialogue between Serbia and the EU, the European Commission and member states. This will also be an opportunity to discuss all elements of the application of the new methodology to our country, valorising the progress made so far”, emphasised Joksimović.

She has stressed that Serbia has a good score in cluster 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth, which is important both for the EU and the candidates in terms of post-COVID recovery, adding that all five chapters in cluster 1 – Rule of law have been opened, and that Serbia therefore expects to open one of the clusters this year. Minister Joksimović has informed Beaune that the activities the Serbian Government has carried out in the past several months have also been directed towards adapting the negotiating structure to the key requirements of the new methodology, and that Serbia will readily enter the new model of negotiations as soon as the EC presents all its new elements.

Beaune has underlined that the reform of the European Union should be a process complementary to its enlargement, so that it would be capable of integrating new states.

He has reiterated France’s position that the new negotiation methodology is primarily conceived as a politically steered process which, along with necessary reforms, would place the region back in the EU’s focus and make the process more credible and predictable in relation to the merits of each individual candidate.

Jadranka Joksimović has also informed her interlocutor about the successful process of immunisation against the coronavirus in Serbia, recalling that Serbia was among the first countries to financially participate in the global system of vaccine development. Understanding the problem EU countries face regarding vaccine supply, she has expressed her expectation that an efficient mechanism for providing the Western Balkans and Serbia access to vaccines will soon be established.

Source: Tanjug