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J. Joksimović: Europe Day for life in peace, unity and prosperity

May 09 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Europe Day for life in peace, unity and prosperity

Europe Day, which is also Victory Day, is a holiday that symbolises the European nations’ decision to live in peace, unity, prosperity and solidarity, after centuries of fighting and mutual destruction, as stated today by Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović.

She has stressed that the importance and the power of that decision can clearly be understood both in the historical context of the formation of the EU, when French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman prosed cooperation between France and Germany in the area of steel and coal, and today, in the circumstances when the EU is working on its own revitalisation, employing extraordinary efforts to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All leaders of European countries, including Serbia, have defined recovery from the crisis as the key priority in the upcoming period, primarily the implementation of specific projects that will accelerate the transition to a long-term, sustainable, climate neutral, competitive and modern economy, which efficiently uses its resources, as provided for in the EU strategic document ‘The European Green Deal’, said Joksimović.

She has noted that, having signed the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans in late 2020, Serbia, along with other signatories, agreed that the elements of the European Green Deal should become a new strategy of sustainable development and growth in the Western Balkans. The European Commission has allocated additional EUR 9 billion for investments and support to competitiveness and inclusive growth, as well as to sustainable connectivity and dual green and digital transition through the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans, as a financial instrument for achieving successful application of the new accession methodology.

“Serbia has entered the realisation of these goals prepared, understanding that sustainable future exists for those who are capable of change even in the most dire of circumstances”, underlined Joksimović.

She has stressed that is important to be bold and brave to recognise the problems and change practices that do not yield sufficient results, thus strengthening the resilience of the Serbian society and state to crises, adding that it is important to introduce new solutions and work every day both for the present and for the future of every citizen in every part of Serbia.

“Today, Serbia is the frontrunner on the road to full EU membership. This road and partner cooperation with the EU is not only reflected in Serbia’s process of accession negotiations, but also in successful programming of EU development assistance and in the most significant foreign trade and investments”, said Joksimović.

According to the Minister, despite the extraordinary circumstances, the EU has decided to accelerate the dynamism of the enlargement process through the application of the new methodology.

She has added that Serbia has also decided use the advantages of the reformed negotiation methodology in the best possible way, in order to contribute to the acceleration of the EU accession process, in accordance with objective and balanced assessment of Serbia’s results.

“We have strengthened the political steering of the process, adjusted all negotiation structures to the EU’s requirement of stronger political steering of the process, and accelerated the pace of reforms in the area of the rule of law”, said Joksimović.

According to her, the accelerated pace will allow for meeting the criteria for the yet unopened chapters in cluster 3 – Inclusive growth and competitiveness, and cluster 4 – Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity.

“We expect that, by the end of the Portuguese EU Council presidency, a special political Intergovernmental Conference will be organised, where we will engage in a strategic political dialogue and possibly have the opportunity to open one cluster”, stated Joksimović.

“On this day, Serbia is proudly celebrating two eternal values: freedom and the foundation of the modern community of European nations, because, throughout history, our country has made great sacrifices to defend the legacy of a free and modern Europe. Happy Europe Day and Victory Day!” stated Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug