13 September 2016 The members of the European Integration Committee and the Minister of State for Europe of the German Federal Foreign Office

13 September 2016 The members of the European Integration Committee and the Minister of State for Europe of the German Federal Foreign Office

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Germany as Reliable Partner to Support Serbia on Path to European Union

The members of the European Integration Committee met today with the Minister of State for Europe of the German Federal Foreign Office Michael Roth, currently visiting Belgrade.


The officials agreed that parliamentary diplomacy, regional cooperation and cooperation with the non-governmental and civil sector play a key role in Serbia’s EU accession process.

Committee Chairperson Marinika Tepic thanked Minister Roth for Germany and Bundestag’s principled support of Serbia’s European integration. She also thanked Chancellor Merkel for initiating the conference of Western Balkan countries thus confirming support for the enlargement policy despite the challenges faced by the EU.

“We are deeply aware of all the problems EU faces, from the migrant crisis, the threat of terrorism, to Brexit, and we would like to stress that though we are not a member state we participate in addressing these problems actively and with solidarity”, said Tepic.

She stressed that Serbia is well aware of the serious work ahead of it after the opening of the first negotiating chapters, especially Chapter 35 which is key for progress in all the other chapters.

“In view of all this we would like to express, as National Assembly members, a clear intention to step up the Parliament and European Integration Committee’s supervisory role over these issues. After the elections in Serbia, the National Assembly has several parliamentary groups which oppose European integration, but that is good reason to conduct a higher quality of debate at the National Assembly”, concluded Tepic.

She also said that the Committee will intensify parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation with the parliaments of EU member states as it knows that in the accession process negotiations are conducted with each of the member states, not with institutions, and announced a meeting with the colleagues from relevant committees in the region by the end of the year.

The Committee Chairperson also briefed Minister Roth on the regulations defining the role of the National Assembly and the Committee in the process of reviewing negotiating positions on the chapters, especially emphasising the importance of the cooperation with the National Convention on the European Union, which boasts more than 700 organisations of the non-governmental and civil sector.

The Minister of State for Europe of the German Federal Foreign Office Michael Roth said that EU accession is not possible without a parliament ready to assume big responsibilities. He opined that simply passing laws is not enough, they need to be implemented in everyday life. Roth commended the inclusion of the non-governmental and civil sector in the European integration process and urged the Committee members to cooperation in the region.

“On the behalf of the Government and Bundestag I can confirm that Germany will be a reliable partner to Serbia and support it on the path to the EU. Show courage to reconcile with your neighbours no matter how hard it sometimes might be. Send signals to the domestic and the public in the neighbouring countries because the situation in the region is sensitive and needs to be stabilised”, said Minister Roth.

Committee member Dusica Stojkovic said that Germany is Serbia’s number one foreign trade partner and key partner and initiator of the Berlin Process, which, along with the “Paris Summit”, gave momentum to Serbia’s European integration. She especially commended the work of German foundations in Serbia.

Committee member Natasa Vuckovic said that the most important task for the opposition is parliamentary control of the Government. She stressed the importance of maintaining support for European integration among the young people, hoping that Germany would support the implementation of European standards and the rule of law in Serbia.

Committee member Zvonimir Djokic said that in the accession process Serbia would adjust its stance to EU standards so that in the end they might be harmonised in the areas of foreign policy and security, yet mindful of the country’s vital interests.

The meeting with Minister of State Roth was also attended by Committee members Gordana Comic, Zarko Micin, Elvira Kovacs, Aleksandar Stevanovic and Dr Muamer Bacevac.



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