Thursday

29th Jun 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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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's accelerated drift from Europe

Turkey's path towards EU membership seems harder than ever in the past 54 years, after Erdogan, this week, threatened to "wave" goodbye to the bloc.

EU urges Turkey to investigate election fraud

The EU called for a transparent investigation into alleged irregularities during the referendum in Turkey, which gave sweeping powers to president Erdogan. It added that reinstating the death penalty would end the country's EU bid.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  3. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  4. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  6. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  7. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  8. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  9. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  10. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  11. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  12. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million