2 March 2016 The members of the European Integration Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee and the delegation of the Committee for European Affairs of the National Assembly of the Republic of France
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
European Integration Committee and Foreign Affairs Committee Members Meet with French National Assembly European Affairs Committee Delegation
The members of the European Integration Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee met today, at the National Assembly House, with a delegation of the Committee for European Affairs of the National Assembly of the Republic of France, headed by Committee Chairperson Danielle Auroi.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson Aleksandra Djurovic thanked the French delegation for the visit, which, she said, confirmed the excellent and intensive cooperation between the Serbian and French parliaments. She reminded the attending that the two countries had signed an Agreement on Strategic Partnership in 2011 which resulted in a considerable influx of French investments into Serbia, which France continues to be greatly interested in.
Speaking about the Euro-integration process, Aleksandra Djurovic said that the National Assembly has reached a consensus on Serbia’s EU accession, and that the process enjoys considerable public support.
“The fact is that the European Union is faced by many challenges, such as terrorism which France had suffered first hand, as well as the migrant crisis. We hope the European Union will successfully tackle these problems and that enlargement will once again become a priority issue”, said Djurovic.
The Chairperson of the Committee for European Affairs of the National Assembly of the Republic of France Danielle Auroi said she was very pleased with the opening of the negotiation chapters, stressing that France is a true partner to Serbia on its path to the European Union. She commended Serbia’s reaction to the migrant crisis: “Serbia reacted more adequately than some EU member states. I believe that you can be of great assistance to the Schengen area which is finding it difficult to regulate the issue”, said Auroi.
European Integration Committee Chairman Aleksandar Senic said that the European Integration Committee has been given the responsible role of deliberating on the negotiating positions chapter per chapter. The inclusion of the civil sector into the process best testifies to the Committee’s serious dedication to the task, which had resulted in the establishment of the National Convention on the European Union, claims Senic: “The National Convention includes about 600 civil society organisations which are involved in the discussion on the negotiation positions. I consider their inclusion in the process the European Integration Committee’s biggest achievement”, said Senic.
He stressed that almost all the decisions made in the Committee meetings are unanimous and added that not only is there no MP in the National Assembly against Serbia’s EU accession, but both the ruling coalition and the opposition MPs are in agreement on the matter.
Speaking of the migrant crisis, Senic opined that the Government’s reaction is to a great extent satisfactory, and hopes that Europe will come up with a common policy and, he said, would not put Serbia in an unenviable position seeing how the migrants are coming into Serbia from EU territory – Greece.
The questions the French parliamentary delegation was most interested in concerned Serbia’s NATO membership and the relations between Serbia and Russia.
Responding to these, the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairperson said that the Republic of Serbia has passed a resolution on military neutrality and abides by it, adding that Serbia is committed to EU membership, not NATO membership. Djurovic hopes that the European Union would soon pass a security strategy so that Serbia could harmonise its national strategies with it.
Speaking on the behalf of his party Aleksandar Senic said they are for a serious debate on what NATO membership brings to Serbia, and what the country loses by it, adding that he believes that right now Serbia is not ready to institute sanctions against Russia: “That problem is not our fault, so we should stay out of it. We hope the European Union and Russia will overcome the situation and find a solution”, said Senic.
The French parliamentarians were also addressed by Committee members Vladimir Orlic and Ivan Bauer who spoke about the importance of maintaining and strengthening the traditionally good relations between the two countries through cooperation in the fields of economy, culture and arts.