Thursday

19th Oct 2017

EU presses Serbia on reform

  • Herman Van Rompuy encouraged Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dačić to step up reforms. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy Tuesday (4 September) encouraged Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dačić to step up reforms on its path to EU membership and open up greater dialogue with Kosovo.

“A visible and sustainable improvement of relations with Kosovo remains a key requirement for the next step, the start of EU accession negotiations,” said Rompuy in a statement after their meeting in Brussels.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Serbia’s EU candidate status was granted in March. It is required to enact a number of political reforms concerning its judiciary, the fight against corruption and organised crime.

Serbian lawmakers adopted amendments in March that give its parliament supervisory power over the central bank. The move drew criticism from the European Commission.

Rompuy also stressed the need for structural reforms to attract business and help alleviate Serbia’s unemployment.

But its relations with Kosovo remain difficult as tensions between the ethnic Serbs and Kosovar Albanians continue to flair sporadically along the border.

Serbia, along with five EU member states, refuses to recognise Kosovo’s independence. While Serbia is required to normalise relations with Kosovo to gain EU membership, it does not have to recognise it as an independent state.

Mixed messages on Kosovo

Dačić, who was appointed prime minister in July, also met Martin Schulz, EU parliament president, and EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele.

Dačić assured Schulz that Serbia will aim to promote stability and security in the region including in its relations with Pristina.

“I underlined the strong commitment of the Serbian government to continue on its European path and to fulfil all the criteria,” said Dačić.

The statement was followed by Schulz who told reporters that the “EU as a whole is asking Serbia to recognise Kosovo. We have also to make our homework within the EU. So it is easy to understand that this is one of the most difficult and delicate questions for both sides for the time being.”

Schulz was later “corrected” by the EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele who said the EU had adopted conclusions in December that would not require Serbia to recognise Kosovo.

Turkey accuses Merkel of racism

Turkish foreign minister said German chancellor's call to end EU accession talks was "same rhetoric as racist parties".

News in Brief

  1. Dutch PM: Brexit is 'still a bad idea'
  2. Commission to issue proposal on civil protection
  3. Tusk: 'No space' for EU intervention in Catalonia
  4. Austrian PM calls Brexit talks speed 'big disappointment'
  5. PM Muscat: journalist murder 'left a mark' on Malta
  6. Belgian PM: No crisis with Spain over Catalan remarks
  7. Ireland PM: Further Brexit concessions needed from UK
  8. Merkel: rule of law in Turkey going 'in wrong direction'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  2. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  3. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  6. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  7. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  8. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  9. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  10. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  11. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness