European Integration Committee Chairperson Elvira Kovacs met today at the National Assembly House with the Chargé d’Affaires of the Georgian Embassy in Serbia Ilia Koberidze to discuss the results of the two countries’ EU rapprochement and accession process, fight against the pandemic and improvement of bilateral cooperation.
At the beginning of the meeting, Elvira Kovacs said that the National Assembly has begun its regular spring session, that all preventive measures have been taken to enable the smooth operation of the Assembly in accordance with the regulations on coronavirus control. Kovacs added that in December of last year, Head of the European Union Delegation H.E. Sem Fabrizi presented the European Commission 2020 Report on the Republic of Serbia to the European Integration Committee, and that the National Assembly adopted the Conclusion Proposal on said Report, proposed by the MPs, members of the European Integration Committee.
Koberidze thanked the Committee Chairperson for her time, saying that Georgia had opened a diplomatic office in Belgrade in March 2019 with the goal of strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries, expected to contribute to cooperation in other areas, such as the economy, culture and tourism. He noted that, although diplomatic ties between the two countries were established 25 years ago, there is room to advance cooperation at all levels, pointing out the European integration process, underway in both countries, and the exchange of experiences in that field as one.
Kovacs said that the EU membership is Republic of Serbia’s strategic goal adding that the European Integration Committee’s most important role is to assess the harmonisation of national legislation with the acquis communautaire and control role in the process of Serbia's EU accession talks in line with the Resolution on the National Assembly’s Role and Principles in the Negotiations on the Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union. She added that the Committee has numerous activities at the level of parliamentary diplomacy pointing out its regular meetings with parliamentarians from EU member states and colleagues from the region. Speaking about the accession negotiations, she emphasised the cooperation between the Government and the National Assembly, and the significant role of the National Convention on the EU in the negotiation process as a forum comprising over 700 non-governmental organisations.
The Charge d'Affaires emphasised the importance of the previous cooperation with the Republic of Serbia and the relevant Ministry for European Integration, as well as the Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for European Integration of the Republic of Serbia.
The officials also discussed organising a round table, when circumstances allow, to openly discuss the European integration process of the two countries, Serbia, which has the status of EU candidate, and Georgia. They also mentioned preparing a draft Memorandum of Cooperation between the two parliaments, i.e. the two competent committees on European integration, based on the cooperation established at the level of ministries.
The meeting also touched on the possible establishment of a direct flight between the two countries, cultural rapprochement, as well as preparing for a visit of a Georgian delegation, headed by the President of the country.
At the end of the meeting, the officials agreed to promote stronger and more meaningful cooperation in the field of European integration, as a common foreign policy goal, and to strengthen the cooperation of the two parliaments’ working bodies.