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EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele addresses Serbian parliament

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EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele called on the Serbian authorities on Tuesday to increase their efforts in conducting the reforms necessary to get a positive opinion on Serbia’s EU membership application and added he would help the country open the door to the EU.

Fuele addressed the parliament at a special session, where he claimed that the EU’s supposed enlargement fatigue was just a myth and Serbia was welcome into the EU.

However, EU integration is not a smooth ride, he explained, and the politicians need to agree on the key issues. The parliament should lead the way in that sense, he asserted.

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The situation is not easy, especially since there is so much to do in such a short time, but the EU believes Serbia can do it and is there to offer help, he remarked. There should be no doubt Serbia belongs in the EU, but instead there should only be energy and action, Fuele stressed.

According to him, the opinion on Serbia’s application will be an opportunity to move forward in European integration, which is in the interest of the EU as well.

The opinion will open the door for the status of membership candidate and possibly result in a start date for accession negotiations, Fuele stated.

He named eight priorities in the process: justice reform, fight against organized crime and corruption, changes to electoral legislation, making sure regulatory bodies function efficiently, property rights, human rights, regional cooperation and cooperation w

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With the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

According to Fuele, the EU appreciates the positive tone of the talks between Serbia and Kosovo so far. More effort is needed to deal with the issues of refugees and displaced persons, that is ensure their inclusion into the society, he added.

The cooperation with the ICTY is not merely an international obligation, but a moral one as well, the EU official emphasized.

It will be of key importance in forming the European Commission opinion and subsequent decisions by all 27 of EU member countries, he concluded.


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