European Western Balkans

Hahn: Accession dynamics to be defined by Serbia itself

Johannes Hahn

BRUSSELS – The opening of Chapters 23 and 24 in Serbia’s accession talks is a great moment for the EU and Serbia, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said Monday, noting that the dynamics of the accession would be defined by Serbia itself.Speaking to reporters after a Serbia-EU Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the opening of the chapters, he said Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak and his team had contributed to reaching an agreement and taking “the last mile in this regard.”

This is a “well-deserved acknowledgement of Serbia’s progress towards the EU and its path towards it. A lot of work has been achieved and Serbia’s government, administration and civil society representatives have shown a dedicated commitment in preparing a robust credible reform plan towards the modernisation of Serbia to the benefit of its citizens,” Hahn said.

The negotiation process with Serbia has a “transformative power”, he said.

“There should not be the slightest doubt about our strong commitment to welcoming Serbia in the EU family, where it belongs,” Hahn said.

“It is up to the candidate countries themselves to define the dynamics of the accession process. There is no speed limit, but quality and substance must be maintained. The overall pace of this process will therefore depend on progress on key areas, including the normalisation of Serbia’s relations with Kosovo and implementation of the rule of law reforms,” he said.

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