April 19. 2024. 9:34

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Serbia must implement agreements, compromise with Kosovo to see EU progression

The head of the EU delegation and the Ambassador of the EU to Serbia, Emanuele Giaufret, said Serbia must implement old and new agreements and be prepared to compromise with Kosovo if it wants to continue on its EU path.

At an event attended by EU ambassadors and Serbian European Integrations Minister Tanja Miščević, Giaufret explained that the EU cares about Serbia and its place is within the union. However, there is work to be done to achieve this.

“We have spoken many times about the geopolitical situation, great reforms, the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, but seldom about why we invest so much into Serbia, its agriculture, education… We want to explain that we care about Serbia and its citizens, so we are here. We want to help, support and create a better situation for the Serbian people,” Giaufret said.

He continued that agreements needed to be implemented on both sides for progression to be achieved.

“At this moment, everything boils down to implementing the old and new agreements. The Serbian Municipalities Association is an important topic that needs to be seen through, and we need to go towards implementation as soon as possible. Of course, everything needs to happen in the context of both sides being ready to compromise,” he added.

Speaking of Serbia’s commitment to normalising relations with Pristina, Giaufret called it an opportunity in the dialogue with the EU.

“There is Chapter 35, which addresses this issue, and it needs to be updated now. New obligations that the parties accepted in Ohrid and Brussels must be included. I am certain that this is an opportunity for Serbia because as soon as those obligations are implemented, Serbia will be a step closer to the EU,” Giaufret told RTS.

The last cluster opened by Serbia was in December 2021, and Giaufret underlined that the opening of a new one now lies in the hands of the member states.

“The Commission has pointed out that Serbia is technically ready for cluster 3 to open, and the member countries need to make a decision. To reach it, I think it is clear what needs to happen. First of all, the rule of law, media, fighting corruption, and second of all, the normalisation of Belgrade-Pristina relations. Foreign policy has also become an important topic,” said Giaufret.

(Bojana Zimonjić Jelisavac | EURACTIV.rs)