EP adopts resolution on Serbia
The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a non-binding resolution on Serbia based on a draft prepared by EP rapporteur on Serbia David McAllister..Source: Tanjug
MEPs adopted three of the seven amendments to the proposed amended version of McAllister’s report, concerning Serbia’s jurisdiction in prosecuting war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, the position of Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic and progress in the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
A softened version of the amendments proposed by Croatian MEPs, backed by the European People’s Party (EPP), requesting Serbia not to prosecute those indicted for war crimes committed in Croatia, saw their way into the final draft.
The amendment, adopted by a vote of 347 to 319, calls on Serbia to reconsider the relevant law in the spirit of reconciliation and good neighborly relations.
Also passed was an amendment requesting to condemn attacks on the ombudsman and to make his work easier and to furnish him the documents that he has requested acting in full compliance with the law.
The resolution adopted on Wednesday commended the country on the progress in reforms, development of good neighborly relations and the dialogue with Pristina, and also called on the European Council to open the chapters in the negotiating process as soon as possible.
On the other hand, the resolution contains criticism over "violation of freedom of speech and position of independent institutions," as well as Serbia's refusal to join European sanctions against Russia.
The EP also adopted the amendment of the Green Party for Serbia to be awarded with recognition for the agreement on the judiciary achieved after the February round of the dialogue on normalization of Belgrade-Pristina relations.
European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia David McAllister said after the adoption of the resolution that Belgrade's choice to join the EU and the government's efforts towards reform deserved respect and support from Brussels, and he stressed the importance of continuing the reforms.
Serbia is on the path towards EU membership and its government is showing commitment to EU integration, he noted.
The government is tackling system, social and economic reforms, which deserves support and respect from the EU, he stated, adding that the Serbian parliament had recently adopted important laws on whistleblowers, media, labor, privatization and bankruptcy, calling it a positive development.
He also stressed that a comprehensive implementation of the law is key to a successful EU integration.
"The rule of law, management focused on economic goals and administration reform are fundamental for democracy and the accession talks, he underscored.
The duration of the talks will mostly depend on Serbia's ability to achieve sustainable progress in reforms, he said.