On Tuesday, December 15, the fifth in a series of online debates was held, entitled “Where is Serbia in the accession process?”. On that occasion, the speakers discussed the fact that after the election of the new Government, a procedure will be initiated, which was left behind by the previous Government, as well as an attempt to resolve open issues. In addition, they talked about where Serbia is now and what are the future steps ahead of it?
At the beginning of the debate, Zvezdana Kovac, Secretary General of the European Movement in Serbia, reminded of the fact that in the past 6 years, Serbia has opened 18 negotiation chapters in the EU accession negotiations, and temporarily closed two (Chapters 25 and 26). She also reminded that the state of democracy, as well as the rule of law in Serbia, were not well assessed. All these are data that are not promising, warns Zvezdana Kovac.
Andrea Hohuber, Head of the Department for European Integration, Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, pointed out that the EU Delegation understands that people in Serbia are disappointed with the non-opening of the chapter this year. In order for Serbia to open a new chapter, there must be the consent of all member states.
Vladimir Medjak, vice president of the European Movement in Serbia, believes that both sides, the EU and the Western Balkans, must make additional efforts and that political engagement on both sides is needed in order for the enlargement to move forward. Expansion must not be an administrative job! It requires political governance, Medjak concludes.
Srdjan Dimitrijevic, president of the local council of the European Movement in Serbia from Leskovac, estimates that the enlargement process should be more open. The EU offers us great mechanisms on how to take regional policy to the next level. However, that is impossible with the current organization of the local government, Dimitrijevic fears.
During the debate, viewers were able to watch a video, in which the citizens of Leskovac had the opportunity to ask a question to EU decision-makers when it comes to Serbia’s European perspective. Everyone agreed that we all need a little more honesty, mutual understanding and respect. It seems that, in our efforts to comply with formalities and bureaucratic requirements, we have forgotten the essence, and that is that we should stick together.
When asked what each individual could do to support Serbia’s European integration, the citizens of Leskovac came to the answer that each of us can be the initiator of some changes. If nothing else, at least in their immediate environment, cultivating true values.
The online debate was held within the series European Talks 2.0, organized by the European Movement in Serbia, in cooperation with the EU Delegation to Serbia.