The European Parliament adopted rapporteur Vladimir Bilcik’s report on Serbia, including a part which called for investigations into several affairs.
The report calls for investigations into the Krusik munition plant affair, the tearing down of buildings in the Belgrade quarter of Savamala to make way for the Belgrade Waterfront project, and into the operations of Telekom Serbia and its deal with Telenor. Those parts of the report were adopted in a split vote which was called for by the European People’s Party (EPP). The ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is an associate member of the EPP, having joined it in the Council of Europe.
That part of the report also called the authorities to show results in combating corruption and organized crime.
The second part of the report which includes the affairs was adopted with 407 MEPs voting in favour and 198 voting against it. MEPs will now vote on the report in its entirety. The report was drawn up by Bilcik in November and had almost 400 amendments filed on it. It was adopted by the European Parliament Foreign Policy Committee in February.
Bilcik said that the European Parliament welcomes the Serbian government’s commitment regarding the EU accession but added that there have to be more reforms, especially in rule of law and the judiciary.
The fundamental criteria for Serbia to progress on the road to EU membership are political. Serbia is doing well economically but there are several political areas in which progress is required, he said adding that the coronavirus pandemic had a negative effect on democratic institutions which is why his report insists on the importance of the inter-party dialogue and quality of political competition and democracy.
(RTS, N1, 25.03.2021)
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