The EP rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčik, said that accession negotiations with Serbia “will not be frozen”, but underlined the importance of Belgrade harmonising its foreign policy with the EU.
Bilčik explained that the amendment to the EP report on EU enlargement, which makes Serbia’s further progress on the road to the EU conditional on the country imposing sanctions against Russia, “is not pressure on Belgrade, but shows that Serbia should confirm its choice for EU membership”.
Bilčik also noted that “there is a lot of work to be done” with the already open chapters that can be taken forward, including Cluster 4 on energy and the environment, where, he says, “the EU can help in improving Serbia’s air quality and the country’s energy transition”.
“However, the opening of new chapters and clusters will require very clear decisions on Serbia’s part. For Serbia’s accession negotiations to really progress, we need a clear signal that Belgrade is serious about its European path and that it is working with us. That is why foreign policy alignment is a critical issue,” Bilčik added.
He assessed that Europe can help the citizens of Serbia to have a more prosperous future, not Russia or China. “We want Serbia to make the right choice. This is the time when the history of Europe is being written. Russia is losing this war, Europe will win and we want Serbia to be on the winning side,’ Bilčik said.
The European Parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee adopted yesterday an amendment to the EP report on EU enlargement, signed by Croatian MEP Tonino Picula, making Serbia’s further progress on the EU path conditional on the introduction of sanctions against Russia.
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