22 March 2016 Chairman of Bundestag’s Committee on EU Affairs Gunther Krichbaum and the members of the European Integration Committee
Tuesday, 22 March 2016
European Integration Committee Members Meet with Chairman of Bundestag’s Committee on EU Affairs
The members of the European Integration Committee met today, at the National Assembly House, with the Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on the Affairs of the European Union Gunther Krichbaum to discuss the opening of new EU negotiation chapters and the Committee’s role in defining Serbia’s negotiating position.
“We are grateful to Germany for the political support, and are also aware that Germany is an important economic partner to Serbia. In the midst of the reforms, the country is aware that the goal before it is a good one, so we will continue with the reforms and bring them to a successful end”, concluded Kovacs.
The Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Committee on the Affairs of the European Union Gunther Krichbaum applauded the opening of the first chapters of the EU negotiations process, saying he was sure the next two chapters, 23 and 24, would be opened in the coming period.
He stressed that the reasons one country did not green light their opening are not European, but bilateral, adding that he was sure Croatia would not be interested in blocking this, once the other 27 EU member states have consented to it. He opined that it is unacceptable to have EU countries use their stronger negotiating position to achieve their own personal goals at the EU’s expense, or, in this case, Serbia’s.
Committee member Dusica Stojkovic informed the German colleague about the model Serbia uses to form a negotiating position, the establishment of the National Convention and inclusion of civil society in the work on Serbia’s negotiating positions on all 35 of the negotiation chapters.
Committee member Ivan Bauer stated that today’s terrorist attacks in Brussels are an attack on the whole of Europe. He thanked Krichbaum for his personal support of Serbia’s European path and urged the EU colleagues to remind Croatia of its Parliament’s resolution not to use bilateral issues in the accession process. He also advised improving parliamentary cooperation between the National Assembly and Bundestag.
Committee member Gordana Comic spoke of the obstacles on Serbia’s path to Europe such as weak institutional dialogue and lack of public dialogue. She said that she in favour of the opening of chapters 23 and 24 in June because without it any progress in achieving dialogue in Serbia would be impossible. Comic also expressed her concerns about the situation regarding chapters 27 and 12, both in Serbia and the EU. She also stress that her party, as an opposition party, supports the Government’s efforts as regards European integration, as well as the Brussels Agreement, and would continue to do so in the future. She was optimistic about the Government’s actions concerning the migrant crisis, opining that it did not make mistakes with the relations in the region which is currently in a complicated situation.
Committee member Aleksandra Tomic was pleased that the meeting touched on topics concerning the other negotiation chapters, such as competition which is in the National Assembly’s remit, opining that Serbia is in a better position as regards this issue than other countries in the region. She added that Germany’s support on chapters 20 and 8 – enterprise and competition, is significant, and praised the cooperation with the German organisation GIZ and the foundations Friedrich Ebert and Konrad Adenauer.
Committee deputy member Vladimir Orlic stressed that the Serbian society is more than ready for European integration and again thanked the German colleague for the support and understanding of the position Serbia is in.