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J. Joksimović: Serbia accelerated reforms

October 28 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Serbia accelerated reforms

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that Serbia has continued and accelerated the reforms, assessing that the EC recommendation to open additional clusters under accession negotiations with Serbia is well-deserved.

Speaking at the online meeting of the EU–Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, Joksimović has said that the European Commission clearly stressed that progress had been noted in all relevant areas of economic and social life – in some areas more progress, in others less.

Responding to the remark made by the meeting chairperson, Tanja Fajon, that the EC made an exception in Serbia’s case by recommending the opening of new chapters, Joksimović has said that the Report objectively assessed that progress had been made, primarily in the rule of law.

“Judicial reform is yet to be completed through a referendum, and that is the reason why the Report recorded limited progress in this area”, stated Joksimović.

She has also stressed that the trend of attacks against journalists does not exist in Serbia.

“Serbia has a Working Group on the safety of journalists, and all attacks against journalists are recorded by the Working Group, the Prosecutor’s Office and the police, and are processed”, emphasised Joksimović.

She has also reacted to Tanja Fajon’s statement that she wished Serbia had a more pluralistic parliament.

“The Serbian parliament will be such as the Serbian people choose, like everywhere else in the world”, noted the Minister.

Joksimović has stressed that Serbia was the country that actively accepted the new methodology from the start, which the European Commission recognised and commended.

“All this wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of the entire ruling structure – President Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabić and the whole government. This resulted in the appointment of coordinators for all six clusters; they are highly ranked responsible people from the system, who are also responsible for the implementation, which meets the requirements for the implementation of the agreed”, underlined Joksimović.

She has stated that Serbia has simultaneously worked on cluster 1, which covers fundamental rights and the rule of law, and on clusters 3 and 4.

“We have developed the Media Strategy, formed the Working group on the improvement of electoral conditions, and we are waiting for the opinion of the Venice Commission regarding the Law on Referendum. The Venice Commission has given a positive opinion on the constitutional amendments. As regards the fight against corruption, we will be sending a new report for GRECO by the end of the month, where we will state everything that we have undertaken, and, afterwards, we expect their new opinion by the end of December”, said the Minister.

She has noted that Serbia has done everything to get prepared for the opening of clusters 3 and 4.

“We have done extensive work in cluster 3 regarding taxation, alcohol products, social policy and employment. As regards cluster 4, we’ve achieved the most in the chapters on energy and environment, and that is why the European Commission concluded that we had done everything and that we were ready for the opening of the clusters”, stressed Joksimović.

Joksimović has also noted that Serbia is a good neighbour that wants to cooperate with everyone who wants reforms and cooperation in the region.

“Serbia wants to help everyone. We are lobbying for North Macedonia and Albania because we believe they have fulfilled the requirements and deserved to open accession negotiations”, conveyed Joksimović.

Source: Tanjug