European Western Balkans

McAllister proposes two phases of party dialogue in Serbia, beginning in October

David McAllister; Photo: Tanjug / Sava Radovanović

BELGRADE – Following his proposal for mediation between government and opposition in Serbia, Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister wrote in a letter to Speaker of Serbian Parliament that the talks should be conducted in two phases and in the “Jean Monnet format”.

Establishing an inter-party dialogue in order to enhance parliamentary culture in the National Assembly of Serbia forms the backbone of McAllister’s proposal, Danas reports.

The dialogue should be conducted in Jean Monet format, the key principles of which there will be no media communication until concrete agreements are reached, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

Some commentators have already criticized the choice of this format, saying that it was not appropriate for the current state of affairs between government and opposition.

In his letter to the Parliament Speaker Maja Gojković, McAllister stated that all parliamentary parties expressing their willingness to participate in the dialogue should be included.

According to Danas, within the first phase, three inter-party dialogues would be organized, from October to December, but also to monitor the implementation of possible arrangements until the elections.

Following discussions with representatives of the ruling coalition and opposition parties and taking into account that large parts of the opposition have boycotted the parliament since January and the fact that parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2020, McAllister suggested that the focus of the first phase should be on political dialogue on the electoral condition needed to improve the electoral environment before the elections.

McAllister proposed that the co-chairmen include Maja Gojković and one of the representatives of the European Parliament, while the participants would be leaders of parliamentary parties. The letter stated that the participation of experts should not be ruled out, except “if necessary”.

First meetings, as already agreed, are due to take place on October 9 and 10, with the deadlines for the other two being mid-November and mid-December.

Inter-party dialogue and building confidence in National Assembly procedures and practices, such as the Code of Ethics, will be the focus of the second phase of the dialogue, McAllister’s letter points out. It should start in September next year.

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