At the Intergovernmental Conference in Luxembourg, the European Union has officially opened two new chapters in the accession negotiations with Serbia – chapter 33 on financial and budgetary provisions, and 13 on fisheries.
The Serbian Minister for European Integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, who lead Serbia’s delegation to the Eighth Intergovernmental Conference in Luxembourg on Monday, said that opening of the said two chapters were quite significant, particularly the chapter 33.
“Chapter 33 which will enable us to participate in the common EU budget and work to build the administrative capacities to become a functional member of the EU “, Joksimovic said at a joint press conference with European Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn.
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In the current accession process, Serbia has opened 14 chapters so far, two of which have been temporarily closed. “It is necessary to cooperate as partners and fulfill our part of our obligations, as well as to receive EU support in this”, she went on to say. Regarding chapter 13, Joksimovic said that it was important because it would facilitate opening of more fish farms in Serbia. “And it is important to regulate production in this area, to establish certificates and to be competitive in the market,” she said.
Hahn said that Serbia’s further progress would depend on the reforms of the rule of law and the normalization of relations with Kosovo, and added that the constitutional amendments should be adjusted to the suggestions of the Venice Commission.He also said that Serbia faced challenges in the freedom of speech area and added that Joksimovic promised that progress would be made in that segment as well.
Joksimovic added that “every small step leads to the realization of the final goal and that’s why we see every chapter as a very important one.”
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