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J. Joksimović: We did a huge job and everyone recognised it

June 24 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: We did a huge job and everyone recognised it

Serbia has not made a giant step in the area of European integration, but it has made an important step showing that efforts, success and concrete reforms that we have implemented cannot be ignored, line minister Jadranka Joksimović has said today.

“We did a huge job but we also have a huge job ahead of us. We have the determination and everyone has recognised that”, Joksimović has said answering the parliamentary questions, adding that she would love the parliament to get more involved in the process, “since working in synergy means that we are doing the best for the country.”

Joksimović has talked about the new methodology, what it means for Serbia and for the Western Balkan countries.

She has emphasised that the process of European integration is difficult and completely different today from the time when Romania, Bulgaria and even Croatia negotiated. Even the old member states’ representatives have told us that it is not comparable.

She has added that it is up to us to responsibly defend the interests of Serbia, to know our path, to demonstrate patience and clearly say what we expect from the Union and the European process itself.

The Minister has reminded that the new methodology is the leading process both procedurally and politically, and that it represents a strategic priority of Serbia, not only in foreign policy, but also for the most important internal reforms.

“The new methodology is not initiated for the sake of Serbia, it was meant for North Macedonia and Albania that were about to commence the negotiations, but have not yet”, Joksimović has said and added that the question has been raised on how to apply this methodology to the countries already in the process.

She has reminded that, at that moment, Serbia already opened more than a half of 35 chapters, which are now divided in six clusters.

She has added that Serbia immediately accepted the initiative thus demonstrating self-confidence, desire and commitment for the European path, not even knowing what the new methodology would look like.

We wanted to demonstrate good will and confidence, she has said and reminded that it coincided with the occurrence of pandemic which made everything stop.

She has said that, together with the Commission, the member states should have defined how the methodology would be applied to the processes of Serbia and Montenegro, and that because of the new methodology only in November and December she personally had more than 100 meetings with the representatives of the institutions and the EU.

In her words, she has been granted full confidence of the President and the Prime Minister to enter this process, that we get prepared administratively and structurally in order to get the best possible outcome for the citizens of Serbia from the new and demanding methodology.

As she has said, this is not an easy job.

“To change structures and already established forms is not a light job. I had full support and we came up with the best solutions. Serbia is the only country which has fully incorporated them in its system. Political steering of the process is required, which means that highest officials have to participate, including the President and the Prime Minister”, she has said.

She has emphasised that the rule of law is a key and foundation that will be used to measure the entire progress of country and a possibility either to move on or not in the accession steps.

“We have done it all, the President and the Prime Minister have been actively, even in details, involved in the rule of law field, giving new dynamism and new impetus to the process”, Joksimović has said.

I have warned that the EU enlargement process is not popular and that many countries refrain from saying it out loud.

“I will not complain about our path because everyone knows we have done a lot. Maybe we are frustrated by some steps. North Macedonia, that has changed the name along with many difficult political matters, has not started the negotiations yet, there is resistance, not only the bilateral conditioning, but the opposition towards enlargement”, Joksimović has said.

Source: Tanjug