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J. Joksimović: I am lobbying for clusters, I believe that constitutional amendments will be confirmed

December 03 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: I am lobbying for clusters, I believe that constitutional amendments will be confirmed

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has stated today that she is intensively advocating and lobbying for the opening of both clusters, for which Serbia received a positive opinion in the Progress Report, stressing that the opening of even one cluster would show that the enlargement process is alive, that Serbia has accelerated reforms and that it is moving forward on its European path.

“I believe we deserve two clusters. I am intensively advocating and lobbying for both or even one cluster, particularly for Cluster 4, which is important as it covers the Green Agenda and sustainable connectivity, opening the possibilities for large investments”, said the Minister, emphasising that she expects that the majority of citizens will vote to confirm the Act on Amendments to the Constitution at the referendum scheduled for 16 January.

“We have accomplished all that because we have accelerated the reforms”, said Joksimović, adding that one of the crucial activities based on which progress was measured was the judicial reform.

She has recalled that all the progress that has led to the recommendations for cluster opening has been achieved in the two most difficult years for the entire humanity and that she keeps insisting on it.

“It is not the same when you implement and accept the new methodology, reorganise, ensure involvement at the highest level, prepare complex constitutional reforms, preserve economic stability, show solidarity, resilience, provide the best health protection, vaccines, etc. in a highly irregular situation”, stressed Joksimović.

According to her, to make progress in such a situation is an even stronger indicator of Serbia’s readiness, determination, flexibility, functionality and utmost commitment to reforms and sustainable progress of its society.

She has added that the recommendation for the opening of clusters 3 and 4 is, among other things, based on the results Serbia has delivered in the past two years.

She has recalled that Cluster 1 – Fundamentals includes Chapter 23, which covers the rule of law, judiciary, fight against corruption and organised crime, minority rights, and media freedom, adding that a serious preparation for the amendment to the Constitution has been implemented in an inclusive and transparent manner, regarding the part that refers to judicial appointments.

According to her, the aim of the reform is to prevent political influence on judges, strengthen efficiency and independence, as well as the independent role of the judicial branch of the government, which ensures fair access to justice, efficient justice and judicial system, which in turn provides overall legal security.

The Minister believes that the citizens will understand all that and that the majority will support the act on the confirmation of constitutional amendments, which will be followed by the adoption of new laws implementing the new constitutional provisions.

Joksimović has stressed that this is a huge and important thing primarily for the citizens, as well as for the European integration process.

“We expect that Serbia will open at least one more cluster at the Intergovernmental Conference in mid-December, namely either Cluster 4 – Green Agenda or Cluster 3 – Inclusive growth and competitiveness”, said the Minister.

As regards the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Joksimović has said that Serbia should thank her for everything she has done for the Western Balkans and for Serbia’s European path.

She has recalled that Merkel has been an eminent figure not only for Europe but also for the Balkans, stressing that Serbia has had her sincere support in all issues.

She has added that Merkel has also had the sensibility for the complexities and fragile relations in the region.

Source: Tanjug