The clear majority of the European Parliament members voted today for the resolution on Serbia, showing their support for the country’s continuing effort in becoming an EU member – David McAllister, EP’s rapporteur for Serbia said in Strasbourg.
“I am satisfied. The clear majority voted in favour of my report at the plenary session”, McAllister said specifying that 524 MEPs voted “yes” and 70 “no”. “This shows that the big majority of MEPs support the continuation of Serbia’s pro-European course”, the German conservative politician explained.
The observers say that resolution is a “balanced text” that supports Serbia’s accession to the EU, praising Belgrade’s recent moves towards this goal including necessary reforms.
The MEPs called on the European Commission to open new chapters in accession negotiations, but they have also stressed the importance of the reforms as the “key” for the country’s European future. The especial emphasis was put on reforms in the rule of law, as well as the independent judiciary, media freedom and the human rights protection.
The EP appealed the dialogue on the normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina to be continued; in that sense MEPs demanded “full implementation” of the agreements that have been signed so far, including the establishing of the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo.
Some European lawmakers have clearly criticized Belgrade. Tanja Fajon said that young people in Serbia have told her that “getting a job is impossible if you are not a member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and without bribing the state officials”.
Ulrike Lunacek stressed that there was no progress regarding the illegal demolishing in Belgrade’s inner city area in April 2016. She also expressed concern over media freedom in Serbia. “EP clearly states that it will not tolerate the threats and violence against journalists”, Lunacek said.
At the same time, the Serbian Interior Ministry acknowledged that it has “identified and summoned all persons claimed to be involved” in violence against journalists at the recent street celebration of Aleksandar Vucic’s inauguration for Serbian president. Earlier this week the Danas daily published photos of the violence and prosecutors demanded from police to identify the perpetrators.
According to photo tweet of the opposition politician Sasa Jankovic, one of the perpetrators was in the company of Vucic on the inauguration day.
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