David McAllister, MEP, on the presentation of the 2015 Enlargement Package by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, to the European Parliament (Foreign Affairs Committee):
“I welcome that Johannes Hahn today reiterated that there will be no standstill in the European Commissions’ work on enlargement and that the European perspective remains as important as ever.
The new methodology of the presented Progress Reports ensures transparency and gives a realistic overview of the EU accession process. The reports don’t only follow a praise-and-blame-strategy, but name precise points the countries in question should address.
Serbia has made constant progress on its way towards the European Union. The country adopted important economic reforms, put a focus on regional cooperation and reached key agreements with Kosovo. I would also like to commend the efforts of the Serbian government as well as of the Serbian people to cope with the extraordinary influx of refugees. Work remains to be done in reforming the judiciary, fighting corruption and guaranteeing the freedom of expression.
The first negotiation chapters should be opened this year. I welcome the positive signals Commissioner Hahn gave in this respect. The day the first chapter is opened, will also be the moment when the real work for Serbia begins. Serbia is on its path towards the European Union. How fast the country will move forward in the next years mainly depends on Serbia itself.”