Thursday, 29 May 2003

Parliament plays important role in integration process

The President of the National Assembly, Natasa Micic, and the head of the European Commission’s Delegation in Belgrade, Geoffrey Barrett, talked today about the European Commission’s new approach to issues involving the integration of Western Balkan countries into the European Union.


The President of the National Assembly, Natasa Micic, and the head of the European Commission’s Delegation in Belgrade, Geoffrey Barrett, talked today about the European Commission’s new approach to issues involving the integration of Western Balkan countries into the European Union. The Union’s improved strategy for co-operation with these countries will be presented at the upcomin Salonika Summit.

Presenting the Document, Ambassador Barrett underlined that it represented an attempt to improve current solutions and mechanisms in order to ease the process of accession to the EU, as well as in order for maximum attention to be paid to issues of crucial importance. Key elements of this approach are the strengthening of institutions, a clear vision for approaching Europe and European integrations, the strenghtening of the rule of law, together with assistance provided by European institutions to countries in the region.

It is important for all countries of the Western Balkans to keep up their efforts aimed at harmonising their internal legal, economic and other standards with European Union principles and practices. Participants in the talks agreed that the Parliament, in all its segments, must be devoted to European integrations as one of the essential aims and needs of the citizens it represents.

Natasa Micic reiterated that the National Assembly was currently discussing setting up a Committee on European Integrations, a parliamentary body devoted entirely to the process of accession to the European Union. All other Committees, as well as the National Assembly as a whole, are guided in their work by the principle of harmonising domestic legislation with European standards. Any assistance from the European Union aimed at improving this work is welcome.

President Micic announced that the Document would be presented, with the help of EU experts, to the Foreign Affairs Committee and other bodies dealing with issues of integration and international affairs. It is important that communication and co-operation between the National Assembly and European institutions should be permanent, and that dialogue and talks on all open questions should be the means of improving the process of accession and integration.



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