Degert: Serbia facing huge challenges in EU talks

BELGRADE -- Serbia "will face huge challenges in the course of its EU accession talks, as it needs to implement European standards in many important and sensitive areas."

Degert (L) is seen during his farewell visit with Ivica Dačić on Tuesday (Beta)
Degert (L) is seen during his farewell visit with Ivica Dačić on Tuesday (Beta)

The normalization of relations between Belgrade and Priština will be an important issue, said the outgoing Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert.

The reform process now needs to be accelerated, Degert said in an interview for Novi Magazin as he nears the end of his mandate in Belgrade.

He added Serbia needs to form a team for the accession talks and chose a head negotiator as soon as possible.

Degert noted that the negotiations will move faster if the reforms are swifter - not only when it comes to passage of laws but also their implementation.

According to Degert, Serbia should be dedicated to the rule of law on the one hand, and deal with structural reforms and fiscal consolidation on the other.

He said the EU has been convinced since October 2011 that Serbia is ready, in an administrative and every other sense, to begin accession talks, adding that the current and previous governments have shown a commendable commitment to leading Serbia towards EU membership.

The EU official expressed his satisfaction with the results accomplished during his time in office, recalling that over the past four years Serbia achieved visa liberalization, completed its cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, got candidate status for EU membership and the European Council's decision on opening accession talks, while Belgrade and Priština reached an agreement on normalization of relations.