It is impossible for a country to become a new member of the European Union before the next EU budget period in 2021, said today the Head of the Serbian negotiating team for negotiations with the EU Tanja Miščević.
„This is simply a rule and one can’t go beyond that“ said Miščević and added that she would not engage in calculations as to when will the Serbia become a member of the EU because that does not depend solely on Serbia.
„Ours is to do our job, to accomplish a certain level of standard that will satisfy my life in Serbia of the 21st century – life of a citizen Tanja Miščević not the Head of the negotiating team – said today Miščević at the round table „What awaits us in Chapters 23 and 24“ held at the Press center of Tanjug.
In this respect, says Miščević, the date of entry into membership is less important to her as it is impossible for a country to become a member before the new budged period in 2021. but what is essential is to achieve a certain degree of European values.
According to her, the concept of European values has long been undefined, in fact only the latest agreement from 2007 in Lisbon clearly enumerates what are the Europan values that were until then only implied.
„Peace, freedom, safety, democracy, rule of law, stable institutions, market economy based on competition and many other things, those are the European values, and now if you look at them they are also ours deeply rooted values, traditionally, historically, religiously and spacially, any way you look at them, but we have forgotten about them“, said Miščević.
As she pointed out, the process of accession to the EU should help us embrace these values as they are our values and we should not feel as if this is something being imposed on us as a requirement.
She believes that even though we often hear that Europe is a safety, peace and economy project that in actuality these values are its core and that countries that form this community are gathered around these values because they are uncontested for them.
The President of the Council for the implementation of the Action Plan for Chapter 23, Milica Kolaković-Bojović, pointed to confusing and misleading the public as one of the serious threats to the process of European integration.
„My impression is that people still don’t understand the process of European integration and what it brings, and they do not understand this primarily because the representatives of the government, not only the current government but also the previous one and the one before that, keep confusing them when it comes to European integration process“ said Bojović.
She believes that the statements coming from different sources are often contradictory and focused on daily political needs, while citizens remain completely confused and deprived of information about what is actually the essence of the process we speak of today.
„I think what is strongly missing in public is open discourse about the essence of the European integration process, about fundamental changes and the essential betterment to which this process can lead to if it results in true changes in the institutional framework and in the way of thinking“, said Bojović.
In her opinion, what is missing is some sort of plea for the representatives of institutions to speak openly about this to the public, but she also says that there is real possiblility that perhaps representatives of institutions themselves do not understand what is behind the process of European integration.
„Simply, it is not always a matter of politics or ill-will, but this is not just a process of meeting requirements placed before us but a proces where we can truly draw substantial benefits“, said Bojović.
The meeting was held within the project of the Center of contemporary politics and Konrad Adenauer Foundation „Towards Europe“.
Antonijević: Due to Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the constitution
In the process of structural changes with the openiing of Chapters 23 and 24 there will be changes to the constitution in order to allow for independent bodies to start their work adequately, which will lead to independence of the judiciary and prosecution, said the director of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (Yucom) Milan Antonijević.
„The Constitution stipulates the composition of the two bodies – the High Judicial Council and the State Prosecutors’ Council – where there is political influence and it is this influence that we want to avoid with the new constitution“ said Antonijević at the roundtable „What awaits us in Chapters 23 and 24“.
Antonijević says that this is what requires work and that a large part of Chapter 23 concerns justice and enabling citizens to have identical sentences for identical factual situation, regardless of the place of residence. He also pointed out that there is lot to be desired when it comes to speed of solving cases.
As he said, the civil organizations that were willing to engage in the process were divided according to Chapters, depending on who has what kind of expertise, and there are other organizations with specific expertise, professional associations, and all of them together, believes Antonijević, form a team for rapid response.
„It is important to see how the adopted laws are being implemented. Specific examples and actions will reflect the power of civil society and everyone involved in the process. We have the support of universities and people who are slowly waking up and want to be involved in everything“, said Antonijević.
Researcher at the Belgrade Center for Security Policy Bojan Elek said that the Chapter 24 refers to „hard law“ and that it is very different from the Chapter 23, but he also pointed out that responsible, professional and independent police is truly essential and that it should be not lost at the sea of „ticking of“ what is fulfilled and what is not.
„Whether an action plan will make such Serbia – my sincere belief is that it will not, if there is no faith in the idea that we need all of this. If there is belief we will actually work at it,“ said Elek.