On Monday, 4 November, the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic is taking part in the 9th Summit of Heads of Parliaments of South-East European Countries and Visegrad Group on EU enlargement in Budapest, opened by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and completed with the adoption of the Statement on EU Enlargement, which among other things highlights the need to step up the accession process for the countries already in the negotiations stage.
Addressing the assembly Gojkovic stressed that the European Union can be united and complete only with the Western Balkans as its integral part.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that the challenges rocking the European Union should not bring the continuation of the enlargement policy into question.
“Facing EU’s internal and external challenges, national policies, reform processes and the effects of globalization requires additional commitment to and persistence in the pursuit of goals of common interest which enlargement definitely is. It is the only basis on which the European Union can continue to be a community founded on values”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic said that the future of EU enlargement is one of the biggest issues today, recalling the Western Balkan’s long involvement in the European integration process which is important for reform, stability and cooperation, and that enlargement is one of the EU’s most successful policies.
“These processes are an important framework through which we as a region view our common future. You could say that the future of the EU enlargement process to a great degree dictates the future of our region, as well as the future of the European Union”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic said that we are witnessing a halt in the enlargement policy, in light of the recent failure to launch accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania and the lagging dynamics in the opening of negotiation chapters with Serbia.
“All of this is a cause of tangible dissatisfaction among our people and governments especially since Serbia is conducting very demanding reforms and taking active part in finding resolutions to the challenges the European Union is faced with, for example in the case of the migrant crisis”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic said that the continuation of the enlargement process is hugely important for the states aiming to join the EU and the EU itself and stepping up the Euro-integration process would be a show of strength for the Union, despite the challenges it would affirm the EU’s significance on the international scene.
Gojkovic thanked the neighbouring EU countries for their support of the enlargement process.
“That is why we applaud the Visegrad four’s concrete support of the Western Balkans’ EU prospects. As neighbours, you are well aware of our commitment to the reform processes and our contributions”, said Gojkovic thanking Hungary for organizing today’s meeting.
Gojkovic said that the Western Balkan candidates’ goal to join the EU must be achievable for those committed to and actively working on regional stability, consistently conducting reforms and harmonizing their legislation with the EU acquis.
The 9th Summit of Heads of Parliaments of South-East European Countries and Visegrad Group was concluded with the adoption of the Statement on EU Enlargement which stresses that the enlargement policy is one of the most successful EU policies and the European Union must remain open to the countries that share the same values that are in the heart of the EU and are willing to adapt to its standards. Therefore, this policy which has unfortunately slowed down after the last meeting of the European Council, needs to be strengthened.
The heads of the parliaments of South-East European countries and the Visegrad Group hope that the joint efforts of the EU member states, EU institutions and the countries aiming to join will result in EU enlargement in the coming years.
The heads of parliament stressed that the accession of South-East European countries to the EU will have an impact on the security, stability and prosperity of the region and the whole continent.