Schieb: No obstacles to Serbia’s EU membership once it meets all conditions

NEWS 25.07.2022 11:09
tomas šib
FoNet/Milica Vučković

When Serbia meets all the set conditions I fail to see anything that would stand in the way of its membership with the European Union (EU), German Ambassador to Serbia Thomas Schieb said in an interview with FoNet.

Ambassador Schieb said that Berlin’s position on the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue remains unchanged, and that the normalization process is expected to end with the two sides’ mutual recognition.

At the end of his four-year term in office in Serbia Schieb said the framework for negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo has been clearly defined, that the negotiations are supported by the EU and its envoy Miroslav Lajcak and that they enjoy Germany’s unlimited support, FoNet reported.

At the moment the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue is slow but it is important for us to reach a legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations in the foreseeable future because that will also speed up the process of the two countries’ accession to the EU, Schieb said.

He said there is lack of political will to achieve progress and results faster, adding that some progress was made recently regarding cooperation in the energy sector, but that it remains to be seen how this agreement will be implemented.

Serbia and Kosovo need to normalize relations and mutual recognition comes at the end, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, explained Ambassador Schieb, adding that there is much work to be done before this happens.

Commenting Serbia’s position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Schieb said that, as an EU candidate country, Serbia should join all sanctions and measures taken by the EU. It is up to Serbia to decide whether and when it will do this, but we have clearly said that it is what we expect of it, said Schieb.

The Ambassador said he regrets the narrative in Serbia that is critical of the EU, adding that, having in mind everything the EU does for Serbia, it should be more positive. Some media are very critical of the EU and it is important to us for this kind of reporting to change, said Schieb.

He explained that the speed of Serbia’s accession to the EU depends mostly on Belgrade, and that, once Serbia meets all the set conditions, he fails to see anything that would stand in the way of its membership with the EU.

Ambassador Schieb said relations between Serbia and Germany are very good and that they further improved during his term in office.

He said he was leaving Serbia with positive impressions and plans to in future come to Serbia on the weekends, as a tourist, especially since the flight between Berlin and Belgrade is only an hour and thirty minutes.