European Western Balkans

European Parliament mediators might return to Serbia in January or February

Vladimir Bilčik and Tanja Fajon; Photo: Tanjug / Tanja Valić

BELGRADE – Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Serbia Tanja Fajon said that, after three rounds of inter-party dialogue on election conditions, another round of talks could be held before the election.

“We may return in late January or early February to assess the pace of implementation of the Conclusions and the 17 commitments agreed during the three rounds of dialogue”, said Fajon, adding that a final assessment of the progress made in improving the election conditions remains with the OSCE / ODIHR observation mission and other international observers.

In the interview for Danas, Fajon also spoke about the plans to resume dialogue in the National Assembly after the elections. “The second phase of the dialogue would focus on enhancing political dialogue and parliamentary culture in the Assembly, which is an essential condition for Serbia’s progress towards EU membership”, explained Fajon.

She reminded that the improvement of political dialogue and parliamentary culture in the Assembly is one of the essential conditions for Serbia’s progress towards EU membership.

“The task of the European Parliament (EP) in Serbia is to improve electoral conditions and political environment, and holding accountable those who do not respect the standards of political conduct”, said Fajon.

Asked by Danas about whether elections could be considered “fair and regular” if the largest opposition bloc does not take part in them, Fajon stressed that the boycott was “the last refuge in democracy” and a “risky political tactic that could result in a high toll”.

“Boycotts rarely end in true gains, and there is a risk that all parties seeking democratic elections and further reforms will be at a loss to bring Serbia closer to the EU”, stated Fajon.

EP Rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilčik also addressed the dialogue, the first phase of which was concluded last week, in an interview for N1.

“A significant step has been taken to create better conditions for the upcoming elections. If all is implemented, there will be better conditions for fair elections”, Bilčik said.

He emphasised that it is important for Serbia to have fair and free elections, and that it is important for anyone who is politically relevant to participate in the elections.

Bilčik expressed hope that some of the results would be put into practice and added that the European Parliament would continue with its monitoring.

“The election is first and foremost a competition in Serbia, and we in the European Union are interested in making that competition fair. So that is what we will be watching and that is our main interest”, Bilčik said, adding that it was part of Europe’s contribution to Serbia’s EU path.

Bilčik added that EU representatives will remain committed to the same goals and work with the future parliament, in the context of inter-party dialogue.

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