"Up to Serbia to decide on referendum on EU membership"

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport much work is ahead of Serbia to meet the obligations from chapters 32 and 35.

Source: Tanjug

He pointed out that Serbia must also work on the opening of chapters 23 and 24, which are always in focus at the start of negotiations on EU membership.

"This is a great opportunity, there is ground for progress in all areas," Davenport told reporters in the Serbian national assembly today, where he attended the opening of an exhibition dubbed, "We share European values, we are pleased to meet the EU."

Davenport said that after the opening of chapters 32 and 35 work was ahead on their implementation, and that this had already begun, but also on the preparations for the opening of chapters 23 and 24, which are always in focus at the beginning of any negotiation process.

Asked whether chapters 23 and 24 will be the only ones to be opened next year, Davenport the opening of another chapter was being worked on, and the EC had already sent more than ten screening reports to other chapters.

Recalling that the government of Serbia has adopted action plans for chapters 23 and 24, Davenport said that much has been done when it comes to these chapters, and that these action plans are now under discussion among member states.

"Everything is now in the hands of member states, but of course implementation of these action plans should also be worked on. I think that citizens can expect these action plans to be implemented, it's a big job," said Davenport.

Asked what he thought about the requests to hold a referendum on Serbia's EU membership, Davenport said that was up to Serbia to decide, adding this had been common practice in other candidate countries for EU membership, such as Croatia.

Journalists also asked whether Serbia will be able to get rid of the political influence on the appointment of prosecutors, and he replied that the independence of the judiciary was a common goal and a big element in chapter 23, as was the efficiency of the judiciary.

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