3 April 2018 Swedish parliamentarians Piri Niemi and Lars Mejern Larsson in meeting with the Serbian MPs
Tuesday, 3 April 2018
Swedish Parliamentarians Visit National Assembly
The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Sweden Prof. Dr Milorad Mijatovic and European Integration Committee members Elvira Kovacs and Dusica Stojkovic received Swedish parliamentarians Piri Niemi and Lars Mejern Larsson to discuss Serbia’s European integration process.
European Integration Committee Deputy Chairperson Elvira Kovacs said that EU accession is Serbia’s strategic goal.
“We are fully committed to it and the parliament plays an important role in our efforts. The situation is specific, but we are aware of our obligations regarding Chapter 31, as well as Chapter 35. Serbia has done all that it had to in the dialogue with Pristina and we remain dedicated to it despite the recent incident in Kosovo-Metohija”, said Kovacs.
Speaking of the fight against corruption in Serbia she said that the country had started its talks with the EU by opening chapters 23 and 24 and has been delayed in fulfilling its obligations which is why the action pans will be amended.
Swedish MPs Niemi and Larsson opined that combating corruption is the most important part of Serbia’s talks with the EU and were happy to hear that the action plans for chapters 23 and 24 are to be redefined. They opined that Serbia is following the right path and expressed concern about the current situation in Kosovo-Metohija.
The Head of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Sweden Prof. Dr Milorad Mijatovic said that the Serbian Government had reacted wisely to the incident in Kosovska Mitrovica by avoiding any hasty reactions.
“Rest assured, these things will not set us back and we will continue to seek a solution acceptable for both Belgrade and Pristina. We are ready for talks with the EU’s guarantee that all that is agreed will be fulfilled. Our foreign policy also remains unchanged despite developments, our goal is to join the EU and we are doing all we can to do so as soon as possible. We believe it to be the right solution not just for Serbia but for the entire Western Balkans”, said Mijatovic.
He thanked the Swedish parliamentarians for their country’s support, saying he was also very pleased with the cooperation in international organizations.
European Integration Committee member Dusica Stojkovic said that Serbia and Sweden have good bilateral relations and economic cooperation and went on to present Serbia’s anti-corruption legislation. She hoped that the coming European Commission’s report on Serbia’s progress would be positive and opined that Serbia still has a lot to do, especially as regards strengthening independent institutions.
“Chapter 35 was among the first to be opened, it is a political chapter without clear criteria for closure and also the question to trump all in Serbia’s EU accession process”, said Stojkovic.
She asked the EU to pay closer attention to the realization of the Brussels Agreement as the third signatory, because 1900 days after the signing of the Agreement Kosovo-Metohija still has no Community of Serb municipalities.
The Serbian and Swedish parliamentarians also spoke about the labour market and employment in Serbia, combating violence against women, the status of national minorities as well as the demographic situation in Serbia and the measures employed to stimulate reproduction.