Information News

J. Joksimović: The opening of Cluster 4 will renew the positive dynamism of the European integration process

December 09 2021 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: The opening of Cluster 4 will renew the positive dynamism of the European integration process

Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has assessed today that the opening of Cluster 4 will renew the positive dynamism of Serbia’s European integration process, which was stagnant for a while, adding that the European Commission has shown that the new methodology is alive.

“We are renewing the positive dynamism of the process, showing that we have truly been active in the two most difficult years for the entire humanity in the past 50 years at least, that this has not made us stray away from the path, we have demonstrated flexibility as a country, as a society, and we have applied the new methodology”, said Joksimović on RTS.

According to her, with the opening of Cluster 4, the European Commission has also shown that the new methodology is alive, recognising that Serbia has also given its contribution to it, as no other country in the Western Balkans has accepted the new methodology in that way, which will probably not bring them many results at the moment.

“That is precisely why I believe this is a positive signal that will give us impetus for new reforms”, stated the Minister.

She has stressed that the opening of one cluster is not a small thing, noting that, under the old methodology, that actually implies the opening of four chapters.

“In this way, we are starting to connect with all EU standards at a deeper level. This is as if we had opened four chapters at once, but now that is all integrated under one sector policy related to sustainable connectivity and our activities within EU-funded projects, such as the railway section of Corridor 10 Belgrade–Niš, and the motorway section Niš–Merdare”, said the Minister.

She has added that this is related to sustainable connectivity, recalling that it includes the Green Agenda, environmental protection and circular economy. “In this way, Serbia will have better and deeper access to this sector policy and financial instruments for projects related to environment”, said Joksimović, adding that EU funds are also used for the preparation of projects.

“This is done so that the projects are prepared in accordance with all aspects important for project sustainability and in line with the highest EU standards”, said Joksimović, noting that IPA 3 2021–2027 has been prepared over the past few months.

According to her, vital projects in the area of environment are planned, such as a waste management centre in Novi Sad, a regional waste management centre for the entire Zlatibor and Moravica districts, and a regional water supply centre in the Kolubara district.

“These are large projects that we have prepared to propose for EU funding, and now with the opening of Cluster 4 that will happen next week, on 14 December, at the Intergovernmental Conference, we will get the chance to propose all relevant projects in the area of environmental protection, biodiversity restoration, improvement of air, water and soil quality, circular economy, and everything that is of interest to us a government”, stated Joksimović.

According to her, Serbia would not be able to open Cluster 4 if it had not conducted a whole set of activities within serious reforms regarding the rule of law, improvement of the rule of law, particularly in the segment related to the judicial reform and constitutional amendments, which will change the procedure of judicial appointments, i.e. the appointment of judges, prosecutors and deputy prosecutors.

Noting that this will also be the topic of the referendum scheduled for 16 January, Joksimović has said that the European Commission has particularly valorised it by giving the recommendation for the opening of two clusters.

Joksimović has emphasised the Member States’ consent for the opening of one cluster is the wind in Serbia’s sails, adding that she believes Cluster 3 is also completely ready and that the serious constitutional reforms that should be verified at the referendum should represent sufficient proof for certain Member States to support the opening of Cluster 3 as well.

She has conveyed that the reforms will continue at the same pace so that the expectations of Serbian citizens can be met in terms of better and faster access to justice and fairness, Green Agenda, better quality of life, people’s health, etc.

Source: Tanjug