Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Speaker of the National Assembly Talks to European Union Officials in Brussels

The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Dr Oliver Dulic visited Brussels on 2 and 3 April 2008 where he met with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the countries of South East Europe headed by Doris Pack and representatives of Deputy Groups at the European Parliament.



The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Dr Oliver Dulic visited Brussels on 2 and 3 April 2008 where he met with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the countries of South East Europe headed by Doris Pack and representatives of Deputy Groups at the European Parliament. On the second day of his visit Dulic talked to the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, and European Parliament Speaker, Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Speaker Dulic headed the National Assembly’s delegation comprising the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Prof. Dr. Dragoljub Micunovic, and European Integrations Committee Chairman, Milos Jevtic.

After the meeting with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, Dulic said that the purpose of his visit to Brussels is to see how much Serbia can speed up integrations, adding that the prevalent opinion in the European Union today is that Serbia, as a key country in the region, should speed up the European integrations process.

Dulic stressed that the Serbian delegation’s priority in the talks was the possibility of signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and liberalisation of the visa regime, but that no dates were mentioned. At this moment Serbia must work harder to meet these essential conditions for the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, but “as far as Solana and all European institutions are concerned” it has “ their absolute support in it”, the Speaker of the National Assembly stated.

Dulic informed his European interlocutors that Serbia is doing all in its power to fulfill its obligations towards the Hague Tribunal, but deemed that the European integrations process must not stop because of a single “personal or technical condition”. He also emphasised that a great majority of citizens favours the European integrations and supports them, but also wants to see concrete benefits from them, mostly in the improvement of living standard.

His conversation with the European Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, focused on the issues concerning the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and liberalisation of the visa regime. Olli Rehn said that he personally urges having the SAA signed as soon as possible and Serbia fulfilling the obligations necessary for its becoming a candidate for membership by the end of this and the beginning of next year. They also mentioned the steps to be undertaken before and after the elections in Serbia, which should contribute to Serbia promptly signing the SAA and being incorporated into the Schengen white list.

During the conversation, Olli Rehn briefly presented the steps for the liberalisation of the visa regime which will soon be presented to the EU members and then to Serbia, and the Speaker of the Serbian Assembly stressed that Serbian institutions will do their part of the work as quickly as possible to enable the citizens to travel without visas as soon as possible.

Rehn said that the outcome of the parliamentary elections in Serbia on 11 May will be of crucial importance for the liberalisation of the visa regime depending on whether the elections will result in a parliamentary majority able to meet the conditions essential for a no-visa regime.

Dulic and Rehn also discussed the cooperation with the Hague Tribunal as a condition for the signing of SAA. On the occasion Dulic said that “it is up to us to prove that Serbia does all in its power and prove the existence of a political will to conclude the cooperation as soon as possible”. He confirmed Serbia’s official position that there is absolute political will to conclude the cooperation with the Tribunal and that the cooperation is in Serbia’s interest, not only because of its integration into the EU, but also because of cooperation in the region and personalisation of guilt.



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