European Western Balkans
European Integration

Aleksandar Senic, Serbian MP for EWB

European Western Balkans presents you short text written by Aleksandar Senic, Serbian MP about EU integration of Serbia.

The previous meeting of the European Integration Committee was dedicated to deliberations on the report on the current situation of the Serbian accession negotiation process with the European Union. The Rapporteurs were the Minister without portfolio responsible for the European Integration, Ms Jadranka Joksimovic, and the Head of the Serbian negotiating team for the negotiations on the accession to the EU, Ms Tanja Miscevic.

At the meeting, the information on each individual Chapter was presented, as well as on the progress made so far regarding the screenings and action plans, and fulfilment of prerequisites for the opening of the negotiations on individual Chapters and the expectations related to the negotiation dynamics. MPs, members of the Committee, both from the ruling parties and the opposition, voted and unanimously adopted the report in question. Notwithstanding the fact that the opposition MPs voted in favour of the report, they criticized the Government for, among other things, still not having appointed the Head of the Serbian European Integration Office for over 18 months now.

2015 will be pivotal for the dynamics of the Serbian integration with the EU. It is crucial for Serbia to meet its international commitments taken on by signing the Brussels Agreement and to open negotiations on key Chapters – 23, 24 and 35. After opening negotiations on these Chapters, we could expect more Chapters to be opened and finalisation of negotiations on some other Chapters, such as Chapters 25 or 26.

However, before meeting the already assumed commitments, we need to re-consider once again the attitudes of key actors on our political scene and examine whether the President of the Republic and the Government are implementing  same foreign policy and have a common strategic goal. At the end of last year, some statements made by the President of the Republic are simply misleading as he claims to have been told that Serbia would have to recognise Kosovo’s independence before joining the EU. Such statements and pompous headlines in the media stating that Germany has set 11 new conditions for Serbia to meet before opening negotiations on the Chapters simply do not contribute to the fulfilment of our strategic goal, which is Serbia’s full EU membership in 2020. Therefore, just like in the Parliament where ruling and opposition parties can reach a consensus for the purpose of achieving a common goal, it is necessary for the President of the Republic to align his policy with the policy of the Government, as envisaged by the Constitution.

After harmonising the positions of the President and the Government, we need to act on the international scene as a reliable partner to all EU Member States. This could be easily achieved by meeting our international commitments, primarily those under the Brussels Agreement. Therefore, instead of applauding to the European Integration process development, it is necessary for our Government to fulfil the obligations taken. Otherwise, our major strategic goal – Serbia’s full EU membership in 2020 -would be jeopardised. This goal is still attainable, but we need to further accelerate the reforms and not to slow them down and delay, as it is the case now. With the Serbian’s lawyers on strike for almost 4 months, which is completely hampering the work of the judiciary, nobody in the EU can take us seriously. Such processes are unacceptable for a society that aims at fast modernisation, and this example best illustrates unpreparedness of the Republic of Serbia to start accession negotiations on key Chapters. Our Government needs to start acting seriously and responsibly, otherwise the year of 2020 will be just a year with another unachieved goal.

Author: Aleksandar Senic

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