BELGRADE – The opening of the first chapters in Serbia’s EU accession talks on Dec 14 will mark the beginning of the substance of the EU accession and is a sign that the accession is a reachable objective, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said addressing Serbian MPs Thursday.
Serbia has reached major achievements on its EU path, he said.
Next Monday, the EU and Serbia will open the first two chapters in the talks – Chapter 32 on financial control and Chapter 35 on normalisation of relations with Kosovo, Hahn said.
The idea of accession will no longer be just an idea, but a tangible and reachable objective, he told the MPs and government ministers in the parliament.
Next week’s intergovernmental conference will show that the EU delivers on its promises when countries achieve progress, he said.
Hahn: MPs’ support for integration strong element for EU
EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said on Thursday that the Serbian MPs’ absolute support for European integration is a strong element for EU partners and proof that there is a strong interest and trust in Serbia’s elite regarding EU enlargement.
Hahn, who met with party whips in the Serbian parliament after addressing MPs at the fifth special session, said that he believes that, very soon after the opening of negotiation chapters 35 and 32, chapters 23 and 24 will be opened as well.
The entire negotiation process will bring great benefits primarily to the citizens of Serbia through reforms, modernisation and development – the citizens need to understand that reforms may be painful, but they should be viewed through the long-term effects, Hahn said.
Gojkovic talks with Hahn
Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic met on Thursday with Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn who underscored the importance of reforms for the country’s modernization and citizens’ welfare.
Gojkovic underlined the importance of the timing of Hahn’s visit to Serbia – on the eve of the intergovernmental conference in Brussels on December 14, where the first negotiation chapters should be opened, based on the European Commission’s positive report, the parliament’s press office said in a release.
Opening the first negotiation chapters will send the message that Serbia is on the right track, she noted.
Gojkovic and Hahn highlighted the important role of parliaments in regional cooperation, as part of the entire EU integration process.
After the meeting with Gojkovic, Hahn addressed Serbia’s law makers in a special session.
PM: We want to complete our job before end of 2019
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday that the opening of chapters in Serbia’s EU accession talks on December 14 would be an important date, and thanked Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn for helping along the road, adding that Serbia would like to complete its job before the end of 2019.
Vucic said that he had talked with Hahn about Serbia’s pending obligations and the opening of chapters on December 14.
“We have worked a lot to achieve this, and much is yet to be done,” Vucic said at a joint news conference with Hahn, thanking the Commissioner on support for Serbia along its EU path.
It is Serbia’s objective to complete the tough reforms before the end of 2019, and then it would be up to the EU to decide on our membership, Vucic said.