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EP supports Serbia, criticizes government

EP supports Serbia, criticizes government
The clear majority of the European Parliament members voted today for the resolution on Serbia and showed their support for the country’s continuing path to the European Union – David McAllister, EP’s rapporteur for Serbia said in Strasbourg.

“I am satisfied. The clear majority voted for my report at the plenary session”, McAllister said specifying that 524 MEPs voted “yes” and 70 “no”. “This shows that the big majority of MEPs support the continuation of Serbia’s pro-European course”, the German conservative politician explained.

The observers say that resolution is a “balanced text” that supports Serbia’s accession process to the EU, praising Belgrade’s recent moves towards this goal including necessary reforms.

The MEPs called on European Commission to open new chapters in accession negotiations, but they have also stressed the importance of the reforms as the “key” for the country’s European future. The especial accent was put on reforms in the rule of law domain, as well as the independence of judiciary, media freedom and the protection of human rights.

The EP appealed the dialogue on the normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina to be continued; in that sense MEPs demanded “full implementation” of the agreements that have been achieved so far, including the establishing of the Community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

Some European lawmakers have clearly criticized Belgrade. Tanja Fajon said that young people in Serbia have told her that “getting a job is impossible if you are not a member of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and without bribery for state officials”.

Ulrike Lunacek stressed that there was no progress regarding the illegal demolishing in Belgrade’s inner city in April 2016. She also expressed concern over media freedom in Serbia. “EP clearly states that it will not tolerate the threats and violence against journalists”, Lunacek said.

At the same time Serbian Interior Ministry acknowledged that it has “identified and summoned all persons claimed to be involved” in violence against journalists at the recent street celebration of Aleksandar Vucic’s inauguration for Serbian president. Earlier this week “Danas” daily published photos of the violence and prosecutors demanded from police to identify the perpetrators.

According to photo tweet of opposition politician Sasa Jankovic, one of the perpetrators was in the company of Vucic at the inauguration day./IBNA

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