13 July 2016 The members of the European Integration Committee in meeting with the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia

13 July 2016 The members of the European Integration Committee in meeting with the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

David McAllister Conveys Encouraging Messages to European Integration Committee Members

The members of the European Integration Committee met with the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister.

Committee Chairperson Marinika Tepic thanked the EP Rapporteur for the visit, saying that visits by EU dignitaries show that Europe has not lost interest in the enlargement policy.

“The National Assembly and Serbia’s administration are fully ready to take on the EU accession talks which is why the news of the opening of chapters 23 and 24 at the Intergovernmental Conference, 18-19 July 2016, is so important”, said the Committee Chairperson.

She said that the news sent a very positive message to the citizens of Serbia in view of the fact that the parties which support Serbia’s EU membership had won the majority in the recent elections. Tepic said it would be very important for Serbia that Negotiations Chapter 5 be opened along with the other two after which the negotiations process would be intensified because the Serbian administration is ready to open the next chapters as well.

“We follow the internal goings-on in the European Union and we are concerned by the same problems the member states are faced with on the internal and external level, such as migrations, the economic crisis, joint fight against terrorism and the decision of the people of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union”, said Tepic, hoping that the EU would solve these issues successfully, through dialogue and cooperation and that the enlargement policy would not be brought into question.

European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister conveyed clear and optimistic messages to the Committee members, primarily that the outcome of the UK referendum would not halt the enlargement process and that the Western Balkans, especially Serbia, is on a good path to Euro-integration, evidenced among other things by the opening of chapters 23 and 24.

He also said that the European Parliament is very interested in cooperation with the Serbian parliamentarians and urged them to initiate meetings whenever they come to Strasbourg because, he said, they have friends there.

Natasa Vuckovic said that the Serbian Government can count on the opposition’s support in all matters concerning Euro-integration, but that it would also insist on the implementation of the laws after they have been harmonized with the European legislation. She believes it necessary to speed up the establishment of the government, to resolve the issue of demolition of illegal objects in Belgrade Savamala, and expressed her displeasure at the situation in the media.

Aleksandar Stefanovic said that the public support of EU accession has never been lower in Serbia and pointed out that the citizens need to be better informed about the benefits of EU membership. On the other hand Dragan Sormaz said that the last research on Euro-integration is not a realistic indicator of the situation in the public because it was done during Brexit and before the opening of chapters 23 and 24. Muamer Bacevac said he was sure the opening of these chapters would have a positive impact and prompt big changes in Sandzak.

The meeting was attended by Committee members and deputy members Zarko Micin, Natasa Vuckovic, Mladen Grujic, Dragan Sormaz, Elvira Kovacs, Dusica Stojkovic, Muamer Bacevac, Vesna Markovic, Zvonimir Djukic, Aleksandar Stefanovic and Vladimir Orlic.

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