02/13/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/13/2020 07:33
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic, attending the meeting of the parliament speakers of the Slavkov Group in Bratislava today with the topic 'EU Enlargement: support for the integration process', thanked the states of the Slavkov format - Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, for their support of the Western Balkan's European integration process.
Gojkovic said that Serbia remains firmly committed to EU accession and is following all the current developments in light of the challenges brought on by Brexit.
'We believe that right now EU enlargement if of crucial importance both to maintain the momentum of the reforms in the candidate states and for the EU itself especially in view of the fact emphasized by the Union officials themselves - that the enlargement policy has proved to be one of the EU's most successful ones and is in the political, security and economic interest of the EU itself', said Gojkovic adding that only with a credible and active enlargement policy can the EU regain and strengthen its strategic position i.e. Europe's role in the world.
Gojkovic said she expected the European Council, EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb and the Conference on the Future of Europe to lead to a positive step forward in that direction and that it is especially important to incorporate the positions of the candidate countries into the wider debate.
The Serbian Assembly Speaker said that the parliament has taken it on itself to create a new political momentum in the enlargement process that will meet our citizens' expectations.
'We continue to maintain the good dynamics of the reforms which are visible everywhere both in the people's lives and in the achievement of progress in key areas', Gojkovic said.Gojkovic said that the statements of the EU high dignitaries who recently visited Serbia - EU High Representativefor Foreign Affairs and Security PolicyJosep Borrell and European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi,are encouraging.
Gojkovic added that she hoped the revised enlargement methodology would improve the accession process and make it more effective, predictable and credible.
'They key is to boost the dynamics of the talks with the candidates and base the process on objective criteria i.e. merit and individual progress of each state', said Gojkovic adding that we will carefully analyse the proposed changes and that it is important that Serbia, which along with Montenegro has gone furthest in the accession process, be allowed to choose whether to proceed with the old negotiation framework or accept the new methodology.
In light of the dilemmas concerning the enlargement policy, Gojkovic thanked the states of the Slavkov format for emphasizing how vital it is to provide concrete support for the Western Balkans enlargement prospects.
Opening the gathering, the Speaker of the Slovak Parliament Andrej Danko said that the enlargement policy needs to be one of the key factors of the European agenda, that Slovakia commends the strategic interest of the countries of South Eastern Europe to become members of the European Union, that the coming months will be crucial for the EU's relations with the Western Balkans and that it is important to have the EU enlargement become a positive agenda.
The President of the Austrian National Council Wolfgang Sobotka said that the Austrian policy remains with the same focus and orientation at all levels and Austria is focused on enlargement, hoping that the process would move along in March, while the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the CzechRepublicRadek Vondracek said that the CzechRepublic and the Slavkov format are interested in EU enlargement. TheSpeaker of the Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic said that the meeting in Bratislava is an opportunity to strengthen parliamentary dialogue and cooperation, sure that today's gathering would secure further support for the enlargement process and wishing to confirm the EU's dedication to the countries of South Eastern Europe and their prospects.