European Western Balkans

EC will reply to letter from MEPs on the situation in Serbia by the end of May

European Commission; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – A response to a letter on the state of the rule of law and human rights in Serbia, sent by a group of 21 MEPs to European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, will be submitted before the end of May, European Commission stated, N1 reports.

European Commission’s Spokesperson for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Ana Pisonero said emergency measures have been introduced not only in the Western Balkans but also in many EU member states and countries around the world. However, she stressed that all measures must be introduced and implemented in compliance with the basic principles, proportionate and limited to the necessary measure.

“We have made it clear that we are in an unprecedented time and that national authorities must have the tools to act quickly and effectively to protect the public health of citizens. It is of the highest importance in every country,” Pisonero said.

Hungarian MEP Attila Ara-Kovács sent a letter last week on behalf of 21 MEPs to EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement in which they point out to “extremely serious” situation in Serbia in regard to constitutional and human rights. MEPs have asked the EU Enlargement Commissioner to make a clear statement on the “extremely serious” domestic developments and the statements against the EU, as well as what Brussels can specifically do to deal with the “extreme” measures of the Government of Serbia.

The MEPs are also urging Várhelyi to recommend political steps that the European Commission could make with regard to the EU membership prospects of Serbia in case its government refuses to revoke its repressive policies and to fully honour common European values.

The letter was signed by MEPs coming from various political groups, including those whose duties in the European Parliament are directly related to the Western Balkan countries’ European integration, such as Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee Tanja Fajon, Head of the Western Balkans Task Force in the EP’s Foreign Policy Committee Tonino Picula as well as EP Rapporteur Kosovo Viola von Cramon-Taubadel.

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