At the sitting held on 12 June 2019 the members of the European Integration Committee were presented the European Commission 2019 Progress Report on Serbia.
The Report was presented by Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic and the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi, and the sitting was also attended by the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU Tanja Miscevic.
Committee Chairman Nenad Canak that the Report was officially handed in on 29 May to the Government and on 30 May to the National Assembly Speaker, and after translation, the conditions were met to discuss it at a Committee sitting. He said this was an excellent opportunity to discuss the appraisal of the country’s progress and the role of the National Assembly, as well as the country’s position and future in light of the Report.
Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic said that this was week three of the Report’s assessment by the institutions which shows that Serbia had given it due consideration and is committed to the European integration process and ongoing reforms. She said it was important to talk about the reporting methodology used on sector-related policies in the one year period. She opined that the Report is generally good, it notes no regressions and progress in a great many areas. Therefore, Joksimovic said we should discuss the assessments per chapter i.e. sector policy progress, saying that the Report noted no regressions in any of the chapters, three were deemed to have shown no progress (3, 5, 8), five showed limited progress (1, 13, 15, 23, 27), some progress which is a moderate level of membership preparedness was demonstrated by 21 chapters (2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33), good progress by four (4, 11, 14, 26) while very good progress, which is full preparedness for membership, was not noted.
Joksimovic said that there has been reform progress in all sector-related policies, adding that Serbia is the first country where the new EU methodology was applied i.e. opening and closing chapters 23 and 24 first and having them be subject to deeper analysis because they bring vital social change and introduce new standards. Serbia received good marks for its regional cooperation and good-neighbourly relations, as well as economy, migration and protection of minority rights. In the political criteria and Chapter 23 Serbia had limited progress, while in some areas it had none, though concrete examples of political will were noted in the area of media freedom and combating corruption, said Joksimovic. She said it would be best if the MPs discussed the part of the Report relating to the National Assembly’s work, adding that the Speaker had already announced the concrete measures to be implemented which is an immediate response. Speaking of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Joksimovic said that the Report notes that Serbia was active and that the dialogue was curtailed due to the customs tariffs, but had not condemned the move. She opined that that part is relatively objective and duly noted by the Report. Joksimovic said that she expects, based on this Report, that Serbia has to continue to open chapters until the end of the Romanian Presidency.
the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi presented the Report in more detail, speaking of the progress in each area and the recommendations on what needs to be done in the coming period.
In the ensuing discussion the MPs spoke about the criticism of the National Assembly’s work, the chapter relating to the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, the relationship between the Serbian Government and the EU, EU enlargement policy, the country’s joining NATO to become an EU member, application of the recommendations contained in previous years’ reports, the Hague Tribunal, economic issues, etc.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Chairman Nenad Canak, and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Dusica Stojkovic, Dubravka Filipovski, Milorad Haji Stosic, Dragan Sormaz, Gordana Comic, Vesna Markovic, MA Dejan Radenkovic, Vera Jovanovic, Biljana Pantic Pilja, Dr Muamer Basevac, Zarko Micin, Aleksandar Seselj, Miljan Damjanovic and Dr Balint Pasztor, as well as MPs not members of the Committee Dr Vladimir Orlic, chair of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee, Cedomir Jovanovic and Vladimir Djuric.