European Western Balkans

McAllister: Progress in the Belgrade – Pristina negotiations are decisive

David McAllister

TANJUG_maliBERLIN – Serbia’s further progress in the negotiations with the EU directly dependent on progress in the negotiations with Pristina, and is crucial for opening new chapters, said on Friday the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister.

“Serbia made many new friends in Europe through the management of the refugee crisis. It was carefully noted how this topic was treated differently in other countries in the region” said McAllister to Deutsche Welle (DW) in response to the question whether Serbia in now the most exemplary pupil EU in the Western Balkans.

McAllister stated that EU praises the Western Balkans where they deserve it, and criticize them where nothing was done or if they regressed.

“But, you’re right. For Serbia we definitely need progress on fundamental issues: the strengthening of the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, the fight against corruption… At that Serbia must work”, explains McAllister.

Answering the question on the relationship of the authorities towards the media, McAllister says that media independence is a fundamental prerequisite for a functioning democracy. Asked if the EU puts pressure not to leave everything to promises, the Rapporteur for Serbia said that it is true that the laws should be implemented and in practice.

“In fact, it’s not just about the law, we need a political climate in which diverse media scene is considered the wealth of society,” he said.

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