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Disinformation on suspension on accession process

August 10 2021 | Belgrade

Disinformation on suspension on accession process

The Ministry of European Integration has responded today to the statements made by analyst Slobodan Zečević regarding Serbia’s accession to the European Union, particularly to his claim that “After Turkey, Serbia is breaking the record in the years of trying to enter the EU”, stressing that such comparisons are superficial, inaccurate and unilateral, and that they do not take into account the context in which Serbia is acceding the EU, particularly the changes that happened in the Union itself.

The Ministry’s statement reads that the process is not only not suspended but that the opening of cluster 1 – Fundamentals was recognised to Serbia at the Intergovernmental Conference with the EU held in June.

“By holding this conference with Serbia, as well as with Montenegro, the European Union has shown that the accession process actively continues, under the principles of the new revised methodology of the EU enlargement policy”, the statement reads.

It has further been stated that one of the key novelties included in this methodology is the fact that all policies are covered by six clusters, which are now opened in their entirety precisely to accelerate the process, while chapters are only part of the clusters and can no longer be opened individually.

“By the looks of things, some commentators seem to not even understand this important procedural novelty”, said MEI.

The Ministry of European Integration has also stated that the Serbian Government actively prepared for the reformed way of negotiating, adjusting its negotiating structure to the new needs of the process and meeting all necessary opening benchmarks for cluster 3 – Competitiveness and Inclusive Growth and cluster 4 – Green Agenda, Digitalisation and Sustainable Connectivity, having prepared all 12 chapters contained therein for further negotiations.

According to MEI, Serbia is seriously and thoroughly working on meeting European standards in various areas important for the accession process, as well as on aligning with the EU acquis.

“The fact that commentators disregard that work on purpose is the consequence of their inactive approach and their refusal to recognise that the EU has also changed and that the criteria of their expertise no longer follow the new currents in the European Union, which are not necessarily favourable for the accession of new member states”, added MEI.

MEI has further said that the Government of Serbia, whose one of the strategic priorities is the acceleration of reforms vital for the European integration process of Serbia, demonstrates active approach and diligent work under new criteria striving to drive away those clouds.

Recalling that Serbia opened negotiations seven years ago, in completely different geo-strategic circumstances and at a time of the strongest affirmation of the EU enlargement policy, when current EU member states were acceding.

It has been added that, even under the then applicable criteria, for example, Spain took nine years from submitting the application for membership to joining the EU, Romania took 12, Poland 10, Malta and Cyprus 14, Croatia 10, etc.

The Ministry has stated that it had to respond to today’s statements primarily because it is important both for the EU and the Government of Serbia that citizens are truthfully informed about the European integration process.

“This presumes that everyone speaking with a scientific authority about these matters is au courant with all relevant international political, economic and social circumstances, having all up-to-date facts, and that they comment on those facts only after they have acquired the necessary knowledge”, stated MEI.

Earlier today, Zečević has said that Serbia’s market is open just like the Croatian or the Hungarian market, but that the EU is providing Serbia smaller compensation for that, asking whether it is truly in the EU’s interest to grant Serbia membership.

He has assessed that, after Turkey, Serbia is breaking the recorded in the years of trying to enter the EU.

Source: Tanjug