McAllister: EU Supports Serbia’s European Future

David McAllister, European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia

EU institutions will continue to support the European integration of the Western Balkans, according to David McAllister, President of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), who is on his visit to Belgrade.

He encouraged government and opposition representatives to continue dialogue with the aim of improving Serbia’s political situation, including the state of parliament and electoral conditions.

Pointing out that his visit to Belgrade is his first trip abroad since his re-election to office, David McAllister says he wishes Serbia all the best in the path of European integration, although there is much work for the Serbian authorities. He emphasised that the conversation with political actors focused on domestic topics and that he came to the Serbian capital to hear different views.

“I call on the constructive dialogue to continue. The European institutions are ready to support them. The European Commission report made recommendations on how parliamentary work can be improved, and it is important to work towards fulfilling the conditions,” McAllister said.

Parliament is the only place where political interests can be realized, McAllister says, adding that with a possible boycott of the work, the opposition would lose its way of expressing its views, the European Parliamentarian estimates, noting that he hopes to advance the talks between the authorities and the opposition in Serbia in the coming weeks.

He praised the progress made in certain areas of reform that was recognised in the EC Report. European institutions have disagreed with Pristina’s decision to impose fees, the position has not changed, but any changes should wait for the results of the parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn, the AFET president reminds.

In addition to the MPs, David McAllister also met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic.

President Vucic states that Serbia will continue to carry out internal reforms in line with the assessments and recommendations of the EU institutions, primarily from the European Commission’s Annual Report, but also from the European Parliament Resolution on Serbia’s progress, especially in the area of ​​the rule of law.

“When it came to Parliament’s work, in some respects, there was room for progress, and therefore, the recommendations were adopted. The draft of media strategy, drafted in a very transparent and inclusive manner, was referred to the European Commission for opinion. This document will provide conditions for continued reform in the media and for the promotion of freedom of expression,” President Vucic said.

President Aleksandar Vucic emphasises that Serbia strongly supports the dialogue on normalisation of relations with Pristina under the auspices of the EU and added that the continuation of talks is possible only after the abolition of taxis.

Minister Joksimovic thanked McAllister for his contribution and engagement, but also the assistance, support, constructive suggestions to Serbia on its path to full EU membership.

Joksimovic says Belgrade is focused on regional co-operation and insists on affirming values ​​that are at the service of peace, development and progress. The clear pro-European commitment is confirmed both by the implementation of reforms and the entire accession process, the Minister said.