"Unfair to insist on new deals, Pristina ignores previous"
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Friday Serbia remained committed to an integrated, stable region.Source: Tanjug, srbija.gov.rs
But the insistence on signing other agreements was unfair as Pristina was failing to comply with some of the fundamental regional agreements, Brnabic noted.
Speaking after a meeting with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, she said Serbia's EU path and activities aimed at reforms and regional connectivity - "everything that is within the framework of the Berlin Process and needs to lead to a more integrated and more stable region"- had been the fundamental topics.
She said they had also discussed a regional agreement on roaming charges.
"We have certain reservations towards a regional agreement that is coming at a time when Pristina continues to insist on violation of the CEFTA agreement and on 100 percent taxes on products from central Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina," she said, thanking "everyone from the European Commission for unambiguously calling Pristina to withdraw this decision on these taxes."
The prime minister noted that unfortunately Pristina still insists on taxes that are a hurdle to all other regional initiatives,
"Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimovic and President Aleksandar Vucic and I have reiterated that Serbia is committed to regional cooperation. Our position is that there is no regional security, economic prosperity for any country of the region without regional cohesion and stability," Brabic said, adding that for this reason, "we are considering ways in which Serbia can sign this agreement."
According to Brnabic, it is not fair that there is further insistence on signing regional agreements when some of the basic regional agreements are not respected by Pristina.
Brnabic added that Serbia remains committed to a region that is strong, integrated and that offers all citizens the possibility of a different perspective in the future.
The Prime Minister stated that they mostly discussed the reforms in the field of the rule of law, and not that much reforms in the field of economy, where structural reforms continue and go quite well, both in the area of public administration, where Serbia has a sectoral budget support of €80 million from the EU.
She explained that reforms in the field of rule of law are the most complex, and that the rule of law is one of the areas where most effort is being invested.
"We also touched on the media strategy and praised the way in which we have completed the Draft Media Strategy within a broad working group, and completed the public debate and the process of receiving comments. We received over 250 comments on the Draft Media Strategy, which we are now looking at to fit into the final draft," said Brnabic, adding that she hopes that the final draft will be completed by the end of April at the Serbian government session with comments from the European Commission.
She also stated that they also discussed Constitutional changes and expressed the expectation that constitutional amendments will be on the agenda during the spring session of the Serbian National Assembly.
The prime minister announced that the International Civil Society Week will be held in Belgrade on 8 April and that the Serbian capital will host the digital summit of the Western Balkans on 4 April.
Brnabic thanked the EU and the Austrian Development Agency for their support for the reconstruction of the Golubac Fortress.