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J. Joksimović, Várhelyi and WB ministers on expectations from the Summit

September 16 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović, Várhelyi and WB ministers on expectations from the Summit

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has participated today in an online meeting between EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and Western Balkan ministers in charge of European integration, where they have discussed expectations from the EU–WB Summit, which is planned to be held in Slovenia in early October.

Commissioner Várhelyi has initiated today’s dialogue with the aim of discussing the political and economic situation in the Western Balkans, particularly the results of reforms vital for the application of the EU Economic and Investment Plan for WB.

In addition, according to the MEI press release, Várhelyi has informed the WB ministers about the Commission’s efforts to prepare a new EU Migration Strategy, and about the adoption of regulations necessary for the beginning of the use of IPA 3 in the upcoming seven-year budgetary period.

Joksimović has stated that, bearing in mind the high level of conducted political and economic reforms, Serbia expects that the joint declaration from the following EU–WB Summit will enable each acceding country’s individual progress to be verified by the acceleration of the accession process.

“It is important that, this time, this document contributes to more dynamic and predictable membership negotiations in practice, as well as to stronger strategic communication in the region on and with the EU, primarily on important geo-political issues, and particularly our expectations from the current debate on the future of Europe”, emphasised Joksimović.

Speaking about the way Serbia is successfully implementing its migration and asylum policy, the Minister has stated that it is important for the region to be included in the development of a single EU policy so that together they can join forces in implementing a sustainable migration policy.

She has reiterated that Serbia does not intend to be a parking centre for migrants and that it is ready to accept several hundred women and children in need of protection within its humanitarian policy, as conveyed by President Vučić as well.

In addition, Joksimović has informed her interlocutors about Serbia’s activities regarding the realisation of the green transition, stating that EU financial support is key in the entire region in order to achieve ambitious plans towards carbon neutral and climate resilient economies.

In this regard, she has particularly reiterated the importance of the Economic and Investment Plan and IPA 3, which should help strengthen economic integration, social reforms, green transformation and especially the rule of law in the Western Balkans.

She has also mentioned the Open Balkans initiative, which has already yielded results in the improvement of economic relations, increase in foreign investments and, above all, in facilitating the everyday life of the citizens of participating countries.

She has said that these joint efforts should also be reflected in the text of the EU–WB Declaration.

Source: Tanjug