The Serbian Government and all political parties, individuals and state officials have a task to ensure stable political ambience which would facilitate negotiations, rather than ambiance leading the country towards conflicts with the EU and regional countries, stated Serbian President Boris Tadic at a meeting of the Expert Group of the Coordination Body for EU Accession Process, held in Belgrade. Sandra Pekic has more.
President Tadic specified that the acquired candidate status has opened a new phase for Serbia that should involve all social potentials in further changes of the Serbian society. According to him, Serbia is facing „social mobilization“, which implies new engagement of the Office for European Integration, as well as all parts of the state and the society wishing to contribute to changes. Although the future negotiating process with Brussels will be burdened by many temptations, Tadic believes that the essential question is not how long does it take to reform state and society, but about the quality it was executed with. However, he assessed, Serbia can lead negotiation process between 5 and 7 years. Having said that the issue of Kosovo will have to negotiate with greater creativity, Tadic reminded that so far Serbia has always negotiated with Brussels in very complex circumstances.
Director of the General Directorate of the European Enlargement Commissioner and Regional Policy Stefano Sanino commended Serbia’s progress towards the EU, adding that it will be necessary for the beginning that Belgrade improve its relations with Pristina. Sanino assessed that the EU candidate status is an important step, but there is so much more to be done, especially in reforming the state administration and judiciary. According to him, in addition to political, candidacy sends a very important economic signal, as it encourages further attraction of investments and opening of the new jobs. He especially emphasized that the candidate status enables Serbia to attend certain meetings within the EU, including sessions of the ministers of economy, foreign affairs, and security.
Director of the Office for European Integration Milica Delevic reminded that Serbia has prepared administrative capacities for the future negotiations on the EU membership, which were formed immediately after the Stabilization and Association Agreement was signed. According to her, the structure consists of an expert group and 35 subgroups dealing with chapters to be negotiated. Milica Delevic pointed out that 80% of the National Program of the EU integration was realized in the past 4 years, and that this percentage is even 89 when it comes to laws.