Bilcik: Serbia to take a series of steps before joining EU

NEWS 06.07.202215:56

European Parliament's (EP) Rapporteur on Serbia Vladimir Bilcik said in Strasbourg that the adopted resolution on Serbia does not throw into question its European future or the issue of European Union (EU) enlargement, but that Belgrade needs to take a series of steps before it joins the EU, Beta reported.

We are not throwing the EU enlargement into question, or Serbia’s European prospects, or its future in the EU. That is very clear from (my) report (that the EP resolution is based on). But Serbia needs to take a series of steps between now and its entry into the EU. I believe this will happen, said Bilcik following the EP plenary meeting at which a resolution on Serbia was adopted.

Bilcik told a joint press conference with EU Rapporteur for Kosovo Viola von Cramon that a decision on opening new clusters in Serbia’s accession negotiations with the EU depends on three things, implementation of reforms, progress in the dialogue with Pristina and alignment with EU’s foreign policy.

He expressed hope that Serbia will support the sanctions on Russia, adding that he “knows some choices are not easy” but that “they are not easy for anyone”.

We encourage Serbian partners to seek ways in which they can gradually and progressively, an in the end fully align with EU’s foreign policy position. We will work together with Serbian partners on important and difficult decisions regarding long-term dependence on Russia, Bilcik said.

Serbia is not alone in this, said Bilcik, adding that the EU will be by its side as long as it moves forward, towards the EU.

No turns should be made on this path, he said and expressed hope that Serbia will decided to be on the right side of history.

Bilcik repeated that he was not happy that “mutual recognition” of Serbia and Kosovo was included in the resolution but said this is what a majority of MEPs asked for.

In its resolution on Serbia adopted Wednesday the European Parliament called for the first time on Serbia and Kosovo to reach an agreement on the normalization of relations based on mutual recognition.