Thursday, 7 December 2006

Serbian and Hungarian parliamentary European Affairs Committees meet

Assembly House was the venue for a meeting between delegations of the Serbian Assembly’s European Integrations Committee, led by its chairperson, Suzana Grubjesic, and the Hungarian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee, headed by its chairman, Matyas Eorsi.



Assembly House was the venue for a meeting between delegations of the Serbian Assembly’s European Integrations Committee, led by its chairperson, Suzana Grubjesic, and the Hungarian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee, headed by its chairman, Matyas Eorsi.
The Hungarian MPs were welcomed by the Chairman of the National Assembly, Predrag Markovic, who said that the visit would ‘provide new impetus to parliamentary co-operation between the two countries, which has, indeed, been very good over the past two years, both within international organisations and bilaterally.’ Markovic reiterated that this Assembly convocation had adopted the Resolution on Joining the European Union, as well as that the European Commission had praised the National Assembly in its 2006 progress report for Serbia. After joining the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, he added, Serbia would endeavour to have stabilisation and association negotiations with the EU proceed at an accelerated pace.
Ms Grubjesic stressed the importance of resuming EU negotiations, adding that there were indications this could happen as soon as after the January 2007 parliamentary elections. Resuming the talks, she said, ‘would contribute to further democratisation and stabilisation, not only in Serbia, but in the whole region as well.’ She underlined that Serbia’s joining the PfP programme was important for a variety of political, economic, and security-related reasons, adding that she was convinced that Euro-Atlantic perspectives were now open to Serbia.
Referring to negotiations on Kosovo and Metohia, Ms Grubjesic said that any new Serbian parliament and government would have to resume them, and that the talks should result in a compromise solution that is sustainable and acceptable to both sides.
Hungary was very interested in co-operation with its neighbour Serbia, as well as in its accession to the European Union, and was ready to help it along the way, said Mr Eorsi. Hungary was in favour of greater co-operation with Western Balkan nations, and especially neighbouring countries, and views this as a means of ensuring lasting stability, and, thus, improving the position of the ethnic Hungarian minority in these countries.
Eorsi reiterated that Hungarian representatives had been in favour of Serbia’s joining the PfP programme at the last sitting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The discussion focused on the position of the Hungarian minority in Vojvodina. Members of the European Integrations Committee said that the position of ethnic Hungarians had improved, as well as that ethnically-motivated incidents were fewer in number, and mostly involve individuals only. They underlined that the best way to further improve the position of the Hungarian minority in Serbia, and the Serbian minority in Hungary, was bilateral co-operation.



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