The European Commission’s positive report on Republic of Serbia’s EU candidate status and prerequisites for launching accession negotiations was published on the 12th October 2011, and this is an important date in the history of democratic Serbia. This is not the beginning of the end of the European integration process, however it is certainly the end of its beginning. Candidate status opens many doors including those to pre-accession funds and
investments. It also puts Serbia in a better position in terms of the new European budget 2014 – 2020, as well as in large-scale infrastructure projects. The beginning of the negotiations will also mean the end of guessing the accession date or having theoretical debates about the best development format for Serbia. We are going to talk about the experiences of 27 nations and Serbia will have its social & historical heritage covered by 35 chapters which will reflect the reality in the society, and which range from environmental issues to fighting corruption, from education to tackling monopolies. We are going to have to sit down, study, negotiate and work.
Serbia, its citizens and administration, will become better after the process, even if we are talking about our neighbours, our peers. Europe awaits us at the end of the road, a Europe that no longer harbours any illusions about itself. Europe where strikes are no longer the last, but the first news, a Europe that is battling crisis in the eurozone, a Europe where populism has been growing…This is also the Europe that will undergo reforms and show a true face of solidarity. The Copenhagen Criteria will not scare Serbia away. Fulfilling the criteria means becoming a member of a “club”. Stability, regional cooperation, economic competitiveness, respecting human and minority rights, functional parliamentary democracy… These are the things that society agrees on.
There are also prerequisites that pertain to the Belgrade-Priština dialogue. Our approach has always been constructive, prudent and we have had concrete proposals. And despite everything that has happened, there is no reason for us not to continue in the same way. That is in the best interest of every single citizen that lives in Kosovo and Metohija, regardless of their nationality, as well as in the best interest of resolving everyday life problems, including inherited ones, that stem from before the 1990s conflicts.Solution has to be found through negotiations, and there are no alternatives. Rest assured – Serbia will not allow for this dialogue, which is currently taking place in Brussels, or subsequent talks to fail. Brussels will not become the new Rambouillet. We are confident that Europe is giving us its undivided support along this road.
Today’s Serbia is adamant to turn its potential into capacity and its European perspective in reality. Our aim is for Serbia to become the 30th member of the European Union. The ball is in our court.