17 November 2020 National Assembly Deputy Speaker and European Integration Committee Chairperson Elvira Kovacs takes part in the online meeting "Exchange of Views on Montenegro and Serbia’s Accession Process”
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
National Assembly Deputy Speaker and European Integration Committee Chairperson Elvira Kovacs Takes Part in Exchange on Serbia’s EU Accession Process
National Assembly Deputy Speaker and European Integration Committee Chairperson Elvira Kovacs, participated in the online meeting "Exchange of Views on Montenegro and Serbia’s Accession Process", organized by the European People's Party (EPP), political group in the European Parliament. The EPP was represented by Andrey Kovatchev, EPP Vice-Chair in charge of enlargement, Western Balkans and neighborhood policy, David McAllister, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Andor Deli, shadow rapporteur for Montenegro, Vladimir Bilcik, European Parliament’s rapporteur for Serbia and Franz Bogovic, First Deputy Vice-Chair of the delegation for relations with Serbia. The meeting was attended by the Serbian Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic and the European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi.
Members of the EPP political group congratulated and welcomed the election of the new Government and leadership of the Serbian National Assembly pointing out that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they continue to work on providing political support and financial assistance in the reform process. They welcomed the efforts the Republic of Serbia has so far invested in the negotiations and the dialogue on the normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations, emphasizing that the European Union sees the Republic of Serbia as a credible partner.
The Serbian side said they expected an Intergovernmental Conference to be held by the end of the year, where some of the negotiating chapters that are already ready would be opened, and that it would also be good to have a meeting at the highest political level to discuss the new enlargement methodology, namely how it would affect Serbia’s negotiations with the EU, in terms of providing direct information by the European Commission on what awaits the country in the negotiation process in the coming period and what its obligations are.
The meeting also focused on the importance of the National Assembly’s control role and the fact that an agreement was reached at the National Assembly’s Collegium not to adopt laws by urgent procedure in the future, to organize public hearings, not to join items on the agenda not related to the same matter under a single debate, to use the institute of parliamentary questions more efficiently and to the fullest extent, and to require ministers to submit quarterly information on their work to the competent committee on a regular basis. The National Assembly Support Service was instructed to prepare an overview of the key points from the EC Progress Report for 2020, in order to follow the recommendations and eliminate the objections related to the work of the National Assembly. The importance of continuing the Inter-Party Dialogue with the mediation of the European Parliament was also emphasized.
The participants agreed that the political criteria represent the most important segment of Serbia’s EU accession process, with special emphasis on the citizens’ trust in the institutions, strengthening of the parliament and parliamentary democracy.
The meeting was an opportunity to encourage the exchange of views in order to contribute to the implementation of reforms necessary for Serbia gaining full EU membership.