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J. Joksimović: EU Council formalised decision on new methodology application

May 12 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: EU Council formalised decision on new methodology application

The EU Council has adopted a decision on the application of the new enlargement methodology to Serbia and Montenegro, for which Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has said is the formalisation of the earlier decision.

Joksimović has stressed that Serbia was the first country to adjust its entire approach to the principles of the revised methodology. 

In her written statement to Tanjug, Joksimović has noted that a political Intergovernmental Conference is expected to be held by the end of June, as a strategic dialogue with European partners.

“If the informal semi-annual report, which will be presented to the EU member states in the second half of May, provides positive assessments of the reforms in the rule of law area, we are getting prepared to open some of the clusters on which we have been intensively working”, stated the Minister.

She has emphasised that Serbia pro-actively accepted the new approach at a time when its final form was still unknown.

She has added that Serbia thus showed trust in the intentions of EU partners to make the enlargement policy more credible and to accelerate the negotiation process based on clear and transparent criteria, through strong political steering of the entire process. 

As regards the preparations for negotiations under the new methodology, Joksimović has said that she first initiated some changes in the structure of the Ministry of European Integration and that she structured an improved negotiation coordinating structure based on the cluster approach.

In addition to the Coordination for Conducting Accession Process as the highest political body for the coordination of the accession process, the Team for Support to Negotiations has also been established.

Based on the cluster structure, coordinators for all six clusters have been introduced and appointed on the proposal of line ministers in charge of the main cluster areas.

“Thus we have strengthened political coordination and responsibility for the implementation, which is one of the crucial requirements of the new methodology”, stressed Joksimović.  

She has added that the Government has significantly accelerated the activities on the implementation of reforms which influence the pace of accession negotiations, in accordance with its strategic plans. 

Joksimović has recalled that, yesterday, the Government adopted the Negotiating Position for Chapter 10 – Information society and media, and for Chapter 19 – Social policy and employment, both from cluster 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth, adding that they have been formally submitted to the competent EU institutions. 

According to her, the next step includes the European Commission presenting the common positions of the member states. 

“We are intensively working on meeting the benchmarks for Chapter 16 – Taxation, which is also covered by Cluster 3, in order to round up all necessary activities so that we can be fully prepared for that cluster”, stated the Minister.

Joksimović has assessed that, through all those activities, Serbia has demonstrated political seriousness, strong engagement and full and timely preparation for the application of the new methodology.

She has stressed that she has particularly insisted and devotedly worked on that, with the support of and in synergy with President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, especially in terms of intensifying activities in the area of the rule of law.

Source: Tanjug