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Brnabić and Joksimović with Fabrizi and EU Heads of Mission

June 15 2021 | Belgrade

Brnabić and Joksimović with Fabrizi and EU Heads of Mission

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, and the Minister of European Integration and Chief Negotiator, Jadranka Joksimović, have met today with the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, and EU Heads of Mission to inform them about all key steps the Government has undertaken to accelerate Serbia’s path towards EU membership.

Brnabić has recalled that Serbia accepted the new enhanced methodology for EU enlargement, and that it was the first country in the negotiation process to adjust its negotiation structures in order to accelerate the meeting of benchmarks in further accession process, as stated in the press release.

Speaking about the EC Non-paper on the rule of law in Serbia, Brnabić has stressed that she believes the document ensures a necessary balance as a condition for making further progress in the process.

She has emphasised that the non-paper notes significant results Serbia has achieved in the previous period, which was burdened with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.She has particularly pointed out the fact that Serbia initiates regional cooperation programmes, with a view to faster accession to the EU, and that Serbia continues to improve its economy so that it can uphold the European values in that segment as well.

Minister Joksimović has underlined the importance of regular strategic communication between all negotiation stakeholders, primarily with EU member states and the European Commission.

She has particularly stressed that all necessary activities have been carried out in order to timely submit to the European Commission the negotiating positions covered by cluster 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth, and cluster 4 – Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity.

Joksimović has also expressed her belief that there have been many elements to launch the full application of the new methodology, but that Serbia understands the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference, which is to be held on 22 June, as a partial valorisation of Serbia’s results and an incentive to further strengthen its reform course.

Head of the EU Delegation Sem Fabrizi and EU Heads of Mission have thanked the Prime Minister and the Minister for organising the meeting and have commended Serbia’s commitment to the European path.

They have also welcomed the decision to hold the Intergovernmental Conference in Luxembourg next week, which will be the first such conference since the adoption of the new negotiation methodology.

Ambassador Fabrizi has noted that, in a short time, Serbia has done a lot of work in various areas of reforms, particularly commending Serbia’s efforts in meeting the opening benchmarks within clusters 3 and 4. The Head of the EU Delegation has particularly emphasised the need to use this strong impetus in the negotiation process and the huge opportunity offered by the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference, which will provide the necessary political direction towards continuing joint work on the acceleration of the process.

He has also encouraged Serbia to achieve further concrete results in reforms, particularly in the rule of law.

Ambassador Fabrizi has also stressed that cooperation with Serbia in terms of the implementation of EU-funded programmes and projects is carried out according to joint plans, and that Serbia and the Western Balkans will continue to receive development assistance from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and from the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.

As jointly concluded, this support is necessary to accelerate the reforms, improve regional economic connectivity and support transition to a green and digital economy.

The meeting was also attended by coordinators of all six clusters, representatives of competent institutions, who informed the ambassadors about the activities and results achieved within the clusters they are in charge of.

According to the press release, the meeting was attended by: Nenad Vujić, Director of the Judicial Academy, for cluster 1 – Fundamentals; Dragan Stevanović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, and Lidija Stojanović, Assistant Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications for cluster 2 – Internal market; for cluster 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth: Gojko Stanivuković, State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Jasmina Pekmezović, Acting Assistant Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, and Milan Dobrijević, Acting Assistant Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications; Jelena Tanasković, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Zoran Lakićević, State Secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy, for cluster 4 – Green Deal and sustainable connectivity; cluster 5 – Resources, agriculture and cohesion: Vedrana Ilić, Acting Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management; Verica Ignjatović, Assistant Minister of Finance, and Branko Budimir, Acting Assistant Minister of European Integration; and for cluster 6 – External relations: Nemanja Starović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: Tanjug