Information News

Joksimović and Schieb on reform pace and EU accession process

May 26 2021 | Belgrade

Joksimović and Schieb on reform pace and EU accession process

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has talked today with German Ambassador Thomas Schieb about the Serbian Government’s reform activities in the process of European integration and bilateral relations between the two countries.      

Joksimović has stressed that her recent visit to Berlin once again showed that Germany is a very important partner to Serbia on its road to EU membership.    

She has emphasised that the Serbian Government has a responsible approach to reforms it has undertaken, primarily in the area of the rule of law, which represent key criteria for progress in negotiations on other chapters    

“At the same time, the Serbian Government is actively carrying out necessary activities from cluster 3 – Inclusive growth and competitiveness and cluster 4 – Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity, at an accelerated pace in order to be ready for cluster opening if there are positive assessments in the rule of law area”, underlined Joksimović.    

Joksimović has informed the Ambassador that Serbia has completed and submitted another two negotiating positions from cluster 3, namely for chapter 10 – Information society and media, and chapter 19 – Social policy and employment.    

She has added that the negotiating position for chapter 16 – Taxation is in the final stage of preparation and that it will be submitted to the EC by the end of the week.    

According to her, with those three negotiating positions, entire cluster 3 will be ready.    

“Within cluster 4, we are completing demanding obligations from chapter 15 – Energy, with the accompanying action plans for the gas sector, through which we will round up all the necessary criteria from that cluster”, said Joksimović.    

She has stressed that changes in the negotiation structure in line with the new methodology, appointment of cluster coordinators from line ministries, active participation of competent ministers, as well as a strong engagement of the Prime Minister and President have already demonstrated how seriously and professionally Serbia accepted and is actively implementing the principles of the new methodology.    

She has expressed her expectation that the EU will also be fully ready to apply the new methodology so that the pace of the accession process would be accelerated.    Joksimović has said that, by conducting immunisation and through increased political activities in the region, Serbia continues to carry out activities on strengthening the resilience of the economy and on the recovery of people’s health from the effects of the pandemic.    

“By strengthening regional cooperation, primarily through constructive participation in addressing the challenges, we will achieve one of the common goals of both Serbia and the Western Balkans, and I believe of the Union itself, and that is EU enlargement to this area, along with the fulfilment of all existing preconditions”, said Joksimović.    

She has assessed that the citizens of the region and the EU will benefit the most from such rounding of the enlargement policy, adding that Serbia counts on Berlin’s support in such an epilogue of all joint efforts.    

The interlocutors have also discussed the Serbian Government’s activities regarding the introduction of the new methodology in its negotiations, as well as the preparations for the holding of a political Intergovernmental Conference by the end of June.    

At the Conference, representatives of Serbia and representatives of European institutions and member states would have an open political dialogue at the highest level about mutual expectations from the further negotiation process.      

Ambassador Schieb has stated that his country supports the EU enlargement policy and Serbia’s European integration process.    

He has particularly emphasised expectations from reforms in the area of the rule of law, democratisation, media freedom, improvement in the work of the judiciary, which are key for further progress in accession negotiations and for a better life of Serbian citizens.  

Source: Tanjug