Statement of AFET Chair and DEG Co-chair David MCALLISTER (EPP, DE) on the EP facilitated Inter-Party Dialogue with the National Assembly of Serbia following a telephone conversation with the Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly, Mr Ivica Dačić, on 2 February 2021:
“The European Parliament is ready to start with the second phase of the Inter-Party Dialogue with the National Assembly of Serbia which we initiated in October 2019. I firmly believe that after the June 2020 elections, the National Assembly and Speaker Ivica Dačić play a central role in creating a space for dialogue and consensus-building on key issues among political parties. Trust in institutions and ensuring a level-playing field in the run-up to the next national elections are crucial for the future of a pluralistic parliamentary democracy in Serbia and the country’s European vocation.
Parliament’s facilitation team for the Inter-Party Dialogue will be led by AFET’s standing Rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilčík, and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Serbia, Tanja Fajon. They will be supported in their tasks by former MEPs Eduard Kukan (EPP, SK) and Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, D). The four current and former MEPs already worked together successfully during the establishment of the Inter-Party Dialogue and its first phase.
Serbia’s authorities, decision-makers and political actors should use the Inter-Party Dialogue as a constructive platform to build consensus on outstanding issues related to the electoral process in accordance with the recommendations of international observation missions. The interest of citizens and the prospects of Serbia’s democracy must take precedence over party political struggle. The Inter-Party Dialogue is in Serbia’s best self-interest, especially because of its direct link to the overarching EU membership process.”