"Serbia understands its EU path obligations"

BELGRADE -- Serbia understands well its obligations in the EU integration process and will continue to harmonize its positions with the EU.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

This was stated by the head of Serbia's team in EU membership negotiations, Tanja Miščević.

"The calls to gradually align with common positions of EU's foreign and security policy will continue because we took this obligation by the signing and by the entry into force of the Stabilization and Association Agreement. I have no doubt that we will move closer to these positions every day, because our membership in the EU is a strategic orientation, and we understand well our obligations in the process of European integration," she told the Večernje Novosti daily.

Miščević said that Serbia is fully prepared for the opening of Chapter 32 on financial control and has "the support of all member countries, except Germany" - which seeks Chapter 35, refering to the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština, to be among the first opened.

Asked whether a condition for the opening of this chapter was "to consent to giving Kosovo a UN chair" and "sign a peace agreement with Priština," Miščević said the condition was "to implement the Brussels agreement" and that there was "no mention of Kosovo's membership in the UN," while "it would not be possible to ask that from Serbia."

"The obligation of the whole process, according to the negotiating framework, is an agreement on comprehensive normalization, not a peace treaty. We assume, though we're still working to better understand this chapter, that it should be used as another instrument of tracking all that was agreed and what will be agreed in the future in the process of normalization. However, the mechanisms and methods are not known yet, we are waiting to hear the proposal of the EU," she explained.

Miščević also said that analytical review of 22 chapters was finished and that the first phase of the negotiation process will be completed in half a year.

"It is important for us to know where we are and what we should do when it comes to most chapters, so we have a clear negotiating strategy," said Miščević.

Asked whether the European Council would "punish" Serbia because of the deadlock in Priština which hampers the dialogue, and delays the opening of chapters until 2015, Miščević said Serbia was "already punished because there has been no round of talks since March."

"Without the dialogue some open questions from the normalization cannot be resolved. Only now member states are becoming aware that Serbia should not be a hostage of the process, but still, half a year went by," concluded Miščević.