Deputy PM: Germany will decide on EU talks date

BELGRADE -- Deputy PM Suzana Grubješić says Germany will make a decision on a date for the start of the EU talks for Serbia when they see that agreements are implemented.

Suzana Grubješić (Beta, file)
Suzana Grubješić (Beta, file)

She believes that a date for the beginning of the EU negotiations is important issue but that it is not the issue of “to be or not to be”.

“After the official visit to Germany, it is clear that agreements are made in Brussels but that Berlin makes decisions. It still has not been definitely decided if Serbia will get a date for the EU accession negotiations in June. Everything will be more certain in April,” Grubješić told daily Večernje novosti.

She stressed that it “is certain that Serbia has never been closer to getting a date for the start of the EU negotiations”.

“I do not know if this will happen in June. But I do know that we made an excellent impression during the last talks and that we will continue our work in full force. Chances of getting a date are realistic but it does not depend on us,” the deputy PM was quoted as saying.

According to her, MPs of the ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) will visit Belgrade in March to check Serbia’s progress and a joint delegation of members of the French parliament and German Bundestag will visit Serbia in April.

“After European Commission and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton’s report, which is expected in mid-April, Germany will make a decision on a date for the beginning of negotiations with Serbia. We know that the country is the largest and most powerful and that a date is in its hands,” Grubješić noted.

She added that German officials were “very satisfied with seriousness of the Serbian government in the solving of problems, starting from the dialogue, combat against corruption, economy”.

“There is no danger that Serbia will be stopped in the reform process but it is certain work in various areas needs to continue, including revision of the judicial reforms, rule of law, combat against organized crime and corruption,” the deputy prime minister said.

“Of course I would like and it would be best for Serbia to get a date in June but in case this does not happen, we will continue the reforms. We are reforming our country for our own sake, not because of the date. The date will come as a logical consequence of everything we have done and Berlin knows this. The EU integration is a process, not an event and getting a date is just an event in the entire process,” Grubješić concluded.