Serbia’s further pace in accession negotiations will depend on the progress made in the rule of law and on the normalization of relations with Pristina, European Commission spokesperson Ana Pisonero told the European Western Balkans (EWB) portal.
The European Commission says that the European Union (EU) – mediated negotiations on normalization are an integral part of the negotiations, and that peace, reconciliation and economic development are prerequisites for the Western Balkans’ speedy progress towards the EU, reported EWB.
As the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in Ohrid, the agreement on the normalization of relations in primarily in the interest of the people living in Serbia and Kosovo, it is important for regional stability and so Kosovo and Serbia could advance on their European paths, said Pisonero.
Asked if there is a way to speed up the accession negotiations having in mind the objections and delays in the areas that are not related to Kosovo, Pisonero noted that the enlargement process is based on “fair and rigorous conditionality and the principle of own merits.”
This means that the candidate countries are expected to implement reforms in various clusters and chapters, starting with the ‘basics,’ which includes the rule of law, explained Pisonero. These are the first chapters to be opened in the accession process and the last to be closed, in accordance with the improved methodology, she added.
Pisonero said Serbia took an important step towards strengthening the independence and responsibility of the judiciary by adopting constitutional amendments last year, along with judicial laws.
Serbia now needs to continue efficiently implementing the law, so that the High Judicial Council and the High Prosecutorial Council are established as soon as possible by appointing prominent jurists, said the EC spokesperson.
We also expect Serbia to deliver results in other key priorities in the area of the rule of law, including the fight against corruption and media freedom. In this regard, the action plan of the media strategy must be implemented without further delay, stressed Pisonero.