The publication shows the work of European Parliament and its role in the accession talks with Serbia and it is primarily intended for both decision-makers, Serbian MPs, as well as the representatives of the media and civil society.
During the presentation of the publication the speakers were Maja Gojković, President of the National Assembly of Serbia, David McAlister, European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia, Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes, Head of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Belgrade and author of the publication Nemanja Todorović Štiplija, President of Centre for Contemporary Politics and Editor-in-Chief of the portal European Western Balkans.
National Assembly Speaker Maja Gojković said the publication “European Parliament and Serbia” would be useful for Serbian MPs both in their day-to-day work and their contact with citizens. Gojković spoke about the message McAllister wrote in the publication and the comparison he drew between Serbia and a train deciding on its own speed and time of arrival in Brussels as its last stop. “My message is that the journey will be short, safe and steady and I call on Brussels to brace itself for the train named Serbia,” Gojković said.
EP Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister said Serbia was firmly on the EU membership path and that Serbian PM clearly laid that out in his programme, adding that the challenge of accession could not be overcome without Parliament’s contribution.
He pointed out that parliaments generally were of great importance and that any democratic society was identified by independent and free parliaments that were grounded in political reality.
“They are the heart of the democracy. The European Parliament will monitor Serbia as it meets the requirements,” McAllister said and stressed that the building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg had enough room for Serbian counterparts.
“I am looking forward to that day,” he said, adding that the EU enlargement policy remains in force despite the challenges posed by the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
“The opening of chapters 23 and 24 was a major step forward and now the homework must be done – implementation of necessary reform, meeting the requirements. I believe we are about the see the opening of further chapters, I believe Serbia is ready to open chapter 5,” EP Rapporteur for Serbia said.
Head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Belgrade, Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes said that Serbia and Europe are concepts that belong to each other.
Beckmann-Dierkes recalled the speech of Winston Churchill after the World War II, who invited all to build Europe, a better future and identity, adding that now is the opportunity to remember it.
“Europe, with all its values, represents a great attractive community for all”, he pointed out.
Nemanja Todorović Štiplija, President of the Centre of Contemporary politics, reminds that this organization has been monitoring the integration process, the work of the Committee for the European Integration and the EU Delegation in the past two years.
“Throughout the cooperation with various bodies in the National Assembly of Serbia, with MPs and the media, in the past two years we came up with the idea to make a guide that would clarify the place of the European Parliament in the institutional framework of the European Union, as well as the place of national parliaments in the process of accession to the EU”, Štiplija highlighted.
According to him, the guide is intended for the MPs, the media and all those who would like to understand Europe and its institutions better, which is why it also includes a review of the EU institutional framework.
Štiplija added that it is very important for the EU to spread information about the work of the European institutions, as well as to strengthen those institutional capacities of Serbia who are in contact with the EU ones.