Enlargement should be a win-win accomplishment. It should benefit and strengthen both the candidate country and the EU as a whole. We therefore insist on all EU principles being truly embraced.
Serbia is part of the European family, with a clear path towards EU membership. The steps taken need to reflect the true acceptance – and application- of values that underlie both our Union and Serbia’s own society, such as democracy, judicial independence, media freedom and the fight against corruption and organised crime. Some promising steps in the reform process have been taken over recent months, and we look forward to seeing real, concrete and tangible results in the coming period.
When it comes to speeding up the dynamics, the implementation of Serbia’s reforms will continue to determine the speed of Serbia’s progress towards full EU membership. Our expectations of Serbia remain high; we need to see full political commitment and a concrete and credible track record. There are simply no shortcuts, and we insist on this for a good reason: enlargement should be win-win; it should benefit and strengthen both the candidate country and the EU as a whole.
Some promising steps in the reform process have been taken over recent months, and we look forward to seeing real, concrete and tangible results in the coming period
We were pleased that Serbia accepted the revised enlargement methodology. It places an even stronger focus on the fundamentals, but also on the need for increased political dialogue.
In terms of assistance, the figures leave no doubt: the EU is Serbia’s most important partner. Bilaterally, trade between the Netherlands and Serbia is on the rise (totalling nearly €1 billion a year) and the Netherlands is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Serbia. Furthermore, our sustained assistance and cooperation in the area of the rule of law, through programmes such as MATRA and the Multi Donor Trust Fund, illustrates that Serbia can continue to count on us.