13 February 2024 The National Assembly delegation at the European Parliamentary Week

13 February 2024 The National Assembly delegation at the European Parliamentary Week

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

National Assembly Delegation Takes Part in European Parliamentary Week

National Assembly delegation comprising Elvira Kovacs and Dubravka Filipovski took part in the European Parliamentary Week, held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 12 and 13 February 2024. The European Parliamentary Week brought together parliamentarians from the European Union, candidate countries and observers, as well as members of the European Parliament, to discuss economic, budgetary and social issues.


Dita Charanzova, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Eliane Tillieux, President of the Belgian House of Representatives, as well as Charles Michel, President of the European Council and Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, gave key opening remarks. The rest of the day was taken up with meetings of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on Budgets.

In an address before the Committee on Budgets on the topic "The budget and the prospect of enlargement - options to reform of the EU’s financial, budgetary and regulatory resources", Elvira Kovacs expressed her pleasure to participate in the discussion, noting that the topic is of extreme importance, both for Serbia and the entire Western Balkans region, thanking the European Union for all the financial assistance it had provided to Serbia in the past 20 years, both in the form of grants and favourable loans. She pointed out that the Republic of Serbia has so far made great use of the EU’s allocated funds and that it is ready to continue with this practice. She said that we have good projects that help us assert ourselves to receive funds and grants from the European Union. She spoke about the fact that the European Commission had adopted a new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans with the aim of bringing some of the benefits of membership to the region before accession, strengthening economic growth and accelerating the much-needed socioeconomic rapprochement. She explained that the implementation of this plan will enable partners from the Western Balkans to intensify reforms and investments, in order to speed up the process of expansion and growth of their economy. She pointed out that Serbia is absolutely ready for the projects of the European Commission’s Growth Plan for the Western Balkans. She explained that this aid is expected to arrive in Serbia in two ways, first, as direct budget support for areas of reform and second, as additional funds for financing infrastructure projects that have already entered a late stage of preparation. She explained that it is still too early to proceed with concrete projects and that it is a matter of negotiations we from the region are to have with the European Union. Finally, she once again thanked the European Union for its support to Serbia and the Western Balkans region, emphasising that the Growth Plan should not be a substitute for the negotiation process.

In her speech before the Committee on Budgets on the topic "The budget and the prospect of enlargement - options to reform of the EU’s financial, budgetary and regulatory resources", Dubravka Filipovski reminded the participants that Serbia's entry into the EU is one of its chief foreign policy priorities, also adding that the citizens’ support and trust are constantly declining because the enlargement policy has for years not been very high on the EU’s agenda. She said that she is glad the new Growth Plan for the Western Balkans presented by the European Commission is being discussed, adding that Serbia is well aware that the payment of funds depends on the implementation of the agreed reforms. However, she said that the southern province of Kosovo-Metohija is a particular problem for Serbia, that the Serbian population is faced with the abolition of the dinar as a means of payment and the blockade of goods from central Serbia. She stressed that, in the complex geopolitical circumstances, the preservation of peace and stability in the Western Balkans is extremely important for Serbia and that constant economic connection, as well as a functional market based on the rules of competition and competence, are very important to that end. She said that the Open Balkans is an example of good practice because it enables the free flow of goods and capital in the Western Balkans.

Day two was taken up by a plenary session where the participants discussed the topics of "Strategic investments and reforms in view of enhancing EU's growth potential" and "The future of the EU single market".

In her address, Dubravka Filipovski pointed out that on the 10th anniversary of the opening of negotiations for Serbia's membership in the European Union, there are no realistic indicators that Serbia will be admitted to the EU in the near future and this can be seen in the budget adopted by the members. She pointed out that the dynamics of reforms in Serbia is constant, however a critical tone prevails throughout the European Commission’s reports. She explained that Serbia is ready to open new clusters, but there is no political will for it among EU member states. Dubravka Filipovski stressed that the regime in Pristina is conducting an ethnic cleansing of the Serbian population in Kosovo-Metohija and the Community of Serb Municipalities has still not been formed, 11 years after the signing of the Brussels Agreement. She explained that, despite everything, European security and the preservation of peace and stability in the Western Balkan region are of priority importance for Serbia and that constant economic connection in the Western Balkan region, as well as a functional market based on the rules of competition and competence, are very important to that end. She pointed out that she wanted her address to be more optimistic, but unfortunately this is the reality of Serbia and the Western Balkans.



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