The 10th meeting of the European Union-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) was held in Strasbourg on 27 March 2019.
National Assembly delegation comprising Dr Vladimir Orlic, Elvira Kovacs, Dragan Sormaz, Prof. Dr Ljubisa Stojmirovic, Vesna Marjanovic, Dr Milorad Mijatovic and Vladimir Djuric took part in the 10th meeting of the European Union-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee.
The following exchanged views with the Parliamentary Committee: Jugoslav Milacic, Advisor to the Minister of European Integration and member of the Negotiation Team, on behalf of the Serbian Government, George Ciamba, Minister Delegate for European Affairs, on behalf of the Romanian Presidency-in-Office of the EU Council, Christos Makridis, Acting Head of Unit for Serbia, Directorate General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, on behalf of the European Commission, and Clive Rumbold, Deputy Head of Division “Western Balkans” in the European External Action Service, on behalf of the European External Action Service.
Eduard Kukan, head of the European Parliament delegation, said that the European Parliament still actively supports Serbia’s European integration. He spoke briefly about the European Parliament Resolution adopted in November last year, as the document outlining the EP’s official position on Serbia’s advancement on the path to European integration and praised the country’s progress. He said that the projects financed by EU funds should be made more visible.
Dr Vladimir Orlic, head of the National Assembly delegation, said he was very pleased by the 10th meeting of SAPC and thanked Kukan and the other members of the European Parliament for their cooperation and support of Serbia’s EU path. He stressed that EU accession remains Serbia’s number one foreign policy goal and highlighted the country’s staunch efforts to implement the standards from each of the negotiation chapters and action plans and become EU member by 2025. He said that, with its wise and balanced politics, Serbia tries to make the best possible decisions in the face of the many daily challenges, the biggest of them being the problem of Kosovo-Metohija.
The members of the two parliaments exchanged views on all the important segments of Serbia’s EU accession and the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. Following the discussion, they unanimously adopted the Declaration and Recommendations which emphasized the importance of the enlargement process as a key priority and urged the European Union to keep to its commitments in that regard.
In the Declaration and Recommendations the SAPC called on Pristina to revoke without further delay the tariffs which are in violation of the spirit of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and the letter of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA); condemned the forcible entry into the public media service, and underlined that the parliament was the institution for resolving political differences; acknowledged that the Venice Commission Secretariat had considered the proposal, which had been submitted to the National Assembly in November 2018, followed the recommendations of the Venice Commission Opinion; welcomed the positive developments in the Serbian economy in terms of higher economic growth, reduced unemployment, stable prices and good budgetary performance; emphasised the importance of the approach by which the evaluation of the progress of each country is carried out on the basis of individual merit and the unambiguous support to Serbia in the European integration process.
The European Parliament and the National Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration.
Kukan said it has been an honour to take part in the Parliamentary Committee all these years, and Orlic said he hoped that Serbia would continue to have strong allies among the members of the European Parliament.
The next meeting of the European Union-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee will be held on 30 – 31 October 2019 in Belgrade.