Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Interview with Jadranka Joksimovic, Serbia’s minister responsible for EU integration By Theodoros Benakis

As the clock ticks closer to the end-of-2018 deadline for Serbia to harmonise national legislation with European Union standards, the country’s minister responsible for integration, Jadranka Joksimovic, considers the EU-Serbia accession negotiations as an incentive to meet the internal reform goals. Joksimovic notes progress in terms of human rights, media freedom and judicial reforms. On the topic of migration, Joksimovic notes a systemic and institutional solution within the framework of the EU laws and standards that is accompanied by the strategic partnership with Turkey.
Is Serbia ready to join the EU?
Serbia has clearly expressed its strategic preferences. The membership in the European Union is one of the primary foreign policy goals, but also the goal of a significant number of sectors in Serbia. For us in the Government, it is important for the industrial branches and sectors to see the membership in the EU as an instrument used to meet the sectorial goals. That is the only way for the membership in the EU to represent an added value to each of these sectors. The energy sector would develop more if we are integrated and if we invest in joint projects. Agriculture, as a strategic branch for Serbia, has yet to gain momentum by joining the EU. Transport would become meaningful and would develop only if we plan to connect all major routes at the European level and as part of a unique European transport network. Even the challenges we are faced with, like migrations, are easier to solve if we act together. Serbia would continue to build its corridors, solve numerous challenges, but also develop its agriculture; the only question is whether it is better for such corridors, agricultural products and Serbian solutions to the challenges to have a prefix “European”. I am convinced that it is in everybody’s best interest. .... continued. New Europe Photo