A delegation of the European Integration Committee took part in the virtual 65th plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), held under the auspices of the parliamentary dimension of Portugal’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 31 May and 1 June 2021.
The delegation of the European Integration Committee consisted of Committee members Predrag Rajic and Muamer Bacevac, and deputy member Akos Ujhelyi.
The meeting was attended by delegations of the parliamentary committees for union affairs/integration of national parliaments of EU member states, EU candidates, member states of the European Economic Area and representatives of European institutions.
The participants discussed the results of Portugal’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Social Europe: what model for the triple economic, digital and climate transition, implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans – the role of national parliaments, as well as the future of Europe.
Addressing the assembly in the first part of the meeting, Akos Ujhelyi stressed that Serbia is ready to continue with the negotiation process according to the new EU methodology and urged for the opening of new negotiation chapters at the intergovernmental conference in June of this year.
Speaking on the topic of digital transformation, Predrag Rajic said that Serbia is a highly digitalised society with an e-government system that fast-tracked the registration of citizens for vaccination with the desired vaccine, contributing to the good results achieved by Serbia (among the top countries in percentage of vaccinated citizens Europe and the world).
In his speech on the topic of the future of Europe, Dr Muamer Bacecevac pointed out that Serbia has shown itself to be a credible partner of the EU during the resolution of the migrant crisis, and that it would remain a credible partner in the future. He urged to speed up the negotiation process by opening new negotiation chapters by the end of Portugal's Presidency of the EU Council.
The participants of the COSAC meeting agreed that it is crucial to involve EU citizens in the work of the Conference on the Future of Europe, both directly and through the participation of the EU member states’ national parliaments. They also endorsed the proposal to accelerate the enlargement process to the countries of the Western Balkans.
The participants were addressed by the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa, Vice-President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, representatives of the European Commission, as well as European commissioners for social policy and economy Nicolas Schmit and Paolo Gentiloni. They emphasised the importance of the unity of the EU institutions, the institutions of the member states, as well as the citizens, expected to be achieved through the work of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which begins with activities in June 2021. In accordance with its Rules of Procedure, the Conference is top include the candidate countries in its work. Harmonisation of decisions on digital COVID certificates is underway, which will facilitate the movement of people, goods and services within the Union.