2012 progress report on Serbia / European integration process of Kosovo (17/04/2013): - extracts of the debate

Type: News   Reference: 93325   Duration: 00:04:20  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 18/04/2013   First transmission: 18/04/2013
MEPs debated yesterday in the Plenary Session in Strasbourg on the 2012 Progress Report on Serbia for the accession of this country to the European Union. There, MEPs stressed that accession talks with Serbia should start before June 2013 on the condition that the reform course set by the government is sustained, namely in the area of the judiciary, combating corruption, ensuring media freedom and protecting all minorities. This country held presidential elections in May 2012 and MEPs pointed out positively the new government's commitment to preparing for EU membership. About the reforms, MEPs agreed that they should focus on quality rather than speed; qnd they welcomed the resumption of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at the highest political level. However, MEPs insisted that Serbian authorities must do more to ensure that national, ethnic and cultural minorities are effectively protected throughout the country's territory, are fairly represented in public administration, judiciary and police and can have access to quality education in minority languages, said MEPs.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 Exterior view of the EP, Strasbourg 00:00:05
00:00:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON EU Council Irish Presidency With a view to a possible decision of the European Council to open accession negotiation with Serbia, the Commission and the High Representative are preparing a report on progress in all the issues identified by the Council on its conclusion of 11 December last year. 00:00:18
00:00:28 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON EU Council Irish Presidency "You may recall that the Council asked in its conclusion of the 11 December last year, for irreversible progress towards living structures in Northern Kosovo, which meets the security and justice needs of local population in a transparent and cooperative manner, and in a way that issue the functionality of the single institutional and administrative set up within Kosovo". 00:00:22
00:00:50 SOUNDBITE (English) Štefan FÜLE, EU Commissioner for enlargement "This is in the strategic interest of both Serbia and Kosovo, and of the entirely Western Balkans region, as well as for the EU as a whole. it is time for Serbia and Kosovo to move from the past and to look ahead to a common European future". 00:00:22
00:01:12 SOUNDBITE (English) Jelko KACIN (ALDE, SI) rapporteur "The on going reform of judiciary and the fight against corruption and organised crime is a fact of at most importance. If accession negotiations are going smoothly there is a need of convincing track record in this field. The investigation in to the political background of the assassination of prime minister Zoran Djindjic, as well as long covered trials of those responsible for murders of journalists in the 1990's , will be crucial points of these processes". 00:00:32
00:01:44 SOUNDBITE (English) György SCHÖPFLIN (EPP, HU) "Despite the efforts made much remains to be done before Serbia will attend its objective: a rule of law state. A particular problem is represented by the art 359 of the criminal code, now transposed to article 234 wish has been used to dispossess entrepreneurs of political grounds". 00:00:26
00:02:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON EU Council Irish Presidency It is particularly important for Kosovo to accelerate its reforms. Major efforts are needed to strengthen public administration reform and to consolidate the rule of law, namely by providing evidence of fight against the organised crime, corruption , judicial reform and freedom of expression. We stand ready to assist the economic and political developments in Kosovo for a clear European perspective, in line with the European perspective of the region. 00:00:28
00:02:38 SOUNDBITE (English) Štefan FÜLE Commission "I would like to publically comment on the Ivica DACIC (Serbian Prime minister) Hashim THAÇI (Kosovo Prime minister ) for their efforts in the dialogue. The issues involved are complex and highly sensitive . results in dialogue are critically important for the EU relations with both Kosovo and Serbia . They should encourage our member states to decide to open negotiations on the stabilisation and association agreement with Kosovo, and accession negotiations with Serbia". 00:00:36
00:03:14 SOUNDBITE (English) Ulrike LUNACEK (Greens/ALE, AT) raporteur Still there is lack of full support for this country's independence. Still five member states do not recognise it. Again, in my report I call for them to go ahead and to do so. Because simply is not acceptable that in the Europpol and Interpol which fight against corruption and organised crime this country, this government can not participate. In sport and cultural events citizens of this country are not allowed to participate. 00:00:26
00:03:40 SOUNDBITE (German) Bernd POSSELT (EPP, DE) We in the EU haven't really be making progress ourselves. We have to make a self criticism here. There was a feasibility study concerning the stabilisation and association agreement. If this is feasible, than why don't we have this agreement. A second point is the trade agreement. Kosovo urgently needs a trade agreement in order to build up its trading capacity. Why don't we adopt this trade agreement. 00:00:32
00:04:12 Cutaways (3 shots) 00:00:08
00:04:20 END 00:00:00
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