Thursday, 11 October 2007

ROUNDTABLE ON THE COOPERATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

On 11 and 12 October, as part of the programme of information and cooperation of the European Parliament and the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, a roundtable was held in the National Assembly House on the subject of “The Role of the European Parliament and its Relations with the National Parliaments and Citizens of the European Union”.



On 11 and 12 October, as part of the programme of information and cooperation of the European Parliament and the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, a roundtable was held in the National Assembly House on the subject of “The Role of the European Parliament and its Relations with the National Parliaments and Citizens of the European Union”.

The programme was organised by the Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments of the European Parliament in order to improve the quality and efficiency of the bilateral relations of the European Parliament and the parliaments of member countries. The programme was intended, above all, for the administrative staff of the parliament, so as to offer information on the European Union and encourage dialogue, in order to specify priorities and needs on a national level.

At the beginning, the participants of the round table were addressed by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Miloljub Albijanic, who stressed the National Assembly’s devotion to the principles of the European Union and its determination to build a democratic society, based on the rule of law, respect of human and minority rights and market economy. “We wish to reform our society and establish stable institutions in accordance with EU standards”, Albijanic stated adding that the cooperation of the National parliament with the European Parliament is of essential importance for Serbia’s membership in the European Union. He also emphasised the importance of transferring the experience of EU administrative institutions’ activities to the Serbian parliament.

Head of the Political section of the Delegation of the European Commission in Serbia, Esmeralda Hernandez-Aragones, pointed out that the parliament is the most important institution in every democratic state and that the Serbian National Assembly can greatly aid in the country’s approaching the EU. She especially stressed that, after the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, Serbia will acquire new duties pertaining to the system of defense and common security in the region, regional development and establishing a free trade zone, that is free movement of workers, goods and capital. Although Serbia fulfilled the criteria from the Feasibility study, the pace of its movement towards joining the EU will depend on the pace of economic and political reforms in Serbia.

Esmeralda Hernandez-Aragones pointed out that the European Comission will discuss the report on Serbia’s progress in approaching the EU in November, and that a part of it will deal with the activities of the National Assembly.

Head of the Council of Europe Office in Belgrade, Denis Huber, pointed out that in chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Serbia demonstrated its ability to take up the role of leader and to respect European values. He especially stressed that it was at Serbia’s initiative in the PA of the Council of Europe that 10 October was declared European day against the death penalty.

Huber expressed his firm belief that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Serbia and the EU will be signed by the end of the year and congratulated the authorities in Belgrade on all they have done so far to bring Serbia closer to the EU.

Head of the Unit for Relations with National Parliaments Alain Barrau, Administrator for Bilateral Relations with National Parliaments of Western Balkan Countries Estelle Carrelet de Loisy and Head of the Unit for Exchange of Information via Internet Stephen Clark were also among the introductory speakers from the European Parliament who briefed the employees of the National Assembly about the organisation and activities of the most important institutions of the European Union – the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of Ministers. The participants of the meeting were also addressed by the Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Antony Pahigian, Coordinator of the Programme of Support to the National Assembly realised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Aleksandra Tekijaski, and the guest from the Bulgarian Parliament, Vladimir Danchev.

Milos Jevtic, the Chairman of the European Integrations Committee, spoke on the second day, stressing the firm determination of the Parliament and the Government of Serbia in favour of European integration and that he will do all in his power to see Serbia receive the status of candidate for membership in the European Union by 2008. He emphasised that after the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, the National Assembly and the Government will bring a declaration on joint action in the process of Serbia’s integration into the European Union, based on the consensus of all political elements in the country on the issue. Subsequently, a special parliamentary committee will be formed as a consulting body, comprising Members of the National Assembly and the European Parliament. The National Assembly, especially the European Integrations Committee will have a key role in fulfilling the assumed duties and aligning domestic regulations with the legacies of the European legal practice, as well as in the promotion of the values of the European Union on a national level.

Deputy Secretary of the National Assembly, Milos Todorovic, stressed the need to pass a law on the National Assembly in view of the upcoming duties, and modify its rules of procedure so as to ensure a greater efficiency and more expedient passing of laws. Besides, it is necessary to further the improvement of expert services, electronic equipment of the Parliament and continue the cooperation and exchange of experience with other parliamentarians.



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monday, 15 august
  • 11.00 - press conference of MP MA Ivan Kostic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

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