Strasbourg, June 14, 2017
Following yesterday’s debate in the European Parliament and today’s vote on the 2016 Report on Serbia and the 2016 Report on Kosovo, Eduard Kukan (EPP/SK), Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of the EU-Serbia SAPC Delegation, made the following comments:
“Serbia has been going through political changes in this last period. It will be important that after the presidential elections Serbia moves on the European path.
The EU recognizes Serbia’s active engagement in negotiating the EU accession. I would appreciate more chapters open, as long as this is followed by thorough implementation of the acquis.
At the same time we need stronger political will in the key reform areas, such as rule of law, judiciary and its independence, and fight against corruption. We are also witnessing ongoing problems concerning media freedom, coupled with attacks against journalists, and a shrinking space for civil society. These are the cornerstones of modern European societies, which need to be constantly defended.
I would also like to encourage Serbian leaders in continuing to lead in a responsible and constructive manner in regional affairs. Serbia has an important role to play, contributing to stability and closer cooperation with the region.
Kosovo has been going through harsh political crisis in the past months, which resulted in this Sunday’s early elections. It is now of essence to move forward on government formation and start addressing much-needed reforms that will benefit the people of Kosovo.
At the heart of the EU integration process in Kosovo lies improving both the rule of law and fight against corruption. This should to be coupled with a solid track-record in corruption cases and prioritizing the European Reform Agenda, together with socio-economic structural reforms. Finally, Kosovo should make an efforts to finalize the demarcation agreement with Montenegro, which could open the way to visa-free travel with the European Union.”