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“Pristina cannot block Serbia’s EU path” (B92, Vecernje Novosti)

By   /  20/03/2019  /  Comments Off on “Pristina cannot block Serbia’s EU path” (B92, Vecernje Novosti)

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Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic sees no reason for the process of Serbia’s EU integration to slow down due to Pristina’s moves.

Minister Joksimovic told the Belgrade based daily Vecernje Novosti that only way for the European Union to preserve the integral inviolability and indivisibility of the negotiation process with Serbia is to “evacuate the monitoring of the Brussels agreement from the negotiating platform for Chapter 35.”

She points out that Chapter 35 should serve to monitor the agreements reached with Pristina, although it has been proven multiple times that Serbia respects them. 

“Arrangements either exist or don’t, they are not commodities to be bargained with,” she said.

Speaking about a series of moves Pristina has made, that have blocked the dialogue with Belgrade, the minister said that Pristina finally stopped the dialogue by introducing taxes (on goods from central Serbia), and by adopting the (negotiating) platform, announcing that the Brussels agreement does not exist for them. 

“It is therefore no longer feasible that Belgrade alone is trying to maintain it through committed resolve for cooperation, while the EU and other international actors are failing to pull out the dialogue car that got stuck in Pristina’s mud of confrontation,” said Joksimovic to the daily. 

She pointed out that the EU, as a signatory to the Brussels agreement, can make a basic overview of what has been achieved, “and it will show that Belgrade has no unfulfilled obligations.” 

“In line with the rules of negotiations, which include Pristina not blocking Serbia on its European path, I do not see any valid justification for the possible slowing down of Serbia’s process due to Pristina’s unilateral moves, which also make EU’s entire work on the dialogue meaningless,” Joksimovic said. 

Asked about the prospects of membership in 2025, Joksimovic replied that, regardless of the required technical work that must be done in the negotiations, EU accession is primarily a political process that depends largely on attitudes, but also on perceptions of member-states. 

“We don’t see the EU as a promise, but as an open option and we will continue to implement reforms,” ​​Joksimovic said. 

The minister added that Serbia expects the next intergovernmental conference and the opening of new chapters by the end of June, after EU elections and the publication of the annual report on Serbia’s progress. She recalled that five chapters are technically ready to be opened, and that it was realistic that some of them will be opened.

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