EP official unaware that Serbia was given "date"
BELGRADE -- Parliament and independent regulatory bodies are ensuring respect for civil rights, a vital issue in the process of EU accession negotiations.
This was stressed on Thursday by head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert and European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin.
For the EU, the citizens and their position in both the EU and the countries that aspire to EU membership is an issue of immense importance, and is therefore given much focus in the process of EU membership negotiations, Degert said at the conference on civil rights in Serbia and the role of the national parliament and independent state Institutions, held in the Serbian parliament on Thursday.
Degert stressed the importance of independent regulatory bodies such as the Protector of Citizens and the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance, pointing out that they should be sufficiently financed.
Observing that progress has been made in the work of the Serbian Parliament, Degert said that the institution's role is vital in ensuring that adopted documents are implemented in practice to improve the quality of life of the citizens.
Kacin said that Serbia used to be a problem, but now, it seems it has finally become a solution and a driving force bringing the entire Western Balkans closer to the EU.
As the biggest country in the region, a successful Serbia will pull the entire Western Balkans inside the EU, Kacin said, pointing out that the membership of the Union is not a goal in itself, and the political context of the EU membership negotiations should be used to implement reforms and the rule of law and to create a strong and competitive economy.
The role of the parliament and its visibility in the public sphere and in political process needs to be strengthened, Kacin said.
"I know nothing about a date"
European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin said Thursday that Serbia will choose a date for starting accession talks with the EU with the steps it takes.
"I would say that Serbia has been given a green light, even though everyone here is saying it got a date. I know nothing about a date, because the date will be chosen by Serbia itself, with the next steps it takes which will show how committed it is to turning words into action," Kacin told reporters at the Serbian parliament.
He said no one should be surprised if the talks begin even sooner than the expected January date.
Kacin added Serbia will decide about its priorities with the commitment it shows in real time, while European institutions and the European Parliament have settled on a draft plan of action for Serbia.
"EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele will visit Serbia soon. We have harmonized draft plans of action in European institutions, including the European parliament, we have organized ourselves to monitor Serbia," said Kacin.
Conceding that he does not have the right to speak on behalf of Serbia, he nevertheless encouraged the state to prove itself before its citizens and be a de facto driving force.
Everything is on Serbia's side and all of this can happen very quickly, said Kacin.
The European rapporteur said "everyone in Serbia is talking about chapters 23 and 24 which deal with the rule of law and the judiciary, and that everyone in Europe is encouraging the country to make fast progress in these most challenging chapters." He noted that Montenegro has already closed two chapters, but not chapters 23 and 24.
Kacin also recalled that "Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić will meet once again with his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci in Brussels on Monday to discuss implementation of everything that is needed," and stressed that a lot depends on the enactment of the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Priština.
July 4, 2013 | 16:52 | Source: Beta, Tanjug | Comments: (38) | Send comment
ZVEČAN -- The Provisional Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija has been constituted on Thursday in Zvečan, a Serb municipality in northern Kosovo.
July 4, 2013 | 15:16 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia and Belarus will invest serious efforts to strengthen their relations, and there is plenty of room to improve the economic cooperation.
July 4, 2013 | 14:45 | Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti | Comments: (13) | Send comment
ST. PETERSBURG -- First Deputy PM and Defense Minister Aleksandar Vučić is paying a visit to the Russian Federation on Thursday as "a special guest of Dmitry Rogozin."
July 4, 2013 | 13:53 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Newly-appointed Iranian Ambassador to Serbia Majid Fahimpour says he advocates advancement of cooperation between the two countries.
July 4, 2013 | 13:14 | Source: Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Philip Reeker believes there is willingness to implement all Belgrade-Priština talks agreements by December.
July 4, 2013 | 12:14 | Source: Danas, Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
PRIJEPOLJE -- "Results are what is holding the coalition government together and they will be the chief criterion for choosing who remains in it," says Ivica Dačić.
July 4, 2013 | 09:42 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an advisory recommending to Serbian citizens not to travel to Egypt.
July 3, 2013 | 16:04 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić talked with a delegation of the Slovenian parliament led by Parliament Speaker Janko Veber in Belgrade.
July 3, 2013 | 15:02 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Rasim Ljajić says Priština "first accepted the proposed solution for telecommunications but now wants to change what has been agreed."
July 3, 2013 | 13:44 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The reforms Serbia faces in the coming years are much more important than the start date for the accession talks with the EU.
July 3, 2013 | 11:07 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
VIENNA -- A priority of the successive presidencies of Switzerland and Serbia over the European Organization for Cooperation and Security will be the Western Balkans.
July 3, 2013 | 10:19 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić said Tuesday that making progress in European integration will be "a real test for Serbia."
July 3, 2013 | 09:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The negotiating platform should be presented to the member states of the European Union on July 26, Tanjug learned in Brussels.
July 2, 2013 | 16:57 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule on Tuesday sent a draft framework for accession talks with Serbia to EU consultative bodies.
July 2, 2013 | 16:23 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić says the government is ready to talk to everyone about minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the highest international standards.
July 2, 2013 | 15:11 | Source: Politika, Tanjug | Comments: (6) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said that June 28 "will enter the history books as the day when Serbia started its accession talks with the EU."
July 2, 2013 | 15:04 | Source: B92 | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić says he expects that the reconstruction of the Serbian government to be completed by July 27.
July 2, 2013 | 14:24 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- The Belgrade-Priština dialogue at the expert level will continue in Brussels on Tuesday.
July 2, 2013 | 13:52 | Source: Danas, VIP | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić "sent the message that he wanted to contribute to the victims being respected, said REKOM regional coordinator Natasa Kandić.