Brnabic: We want to become an EU member; there is no plan B

Brnabic: We want to become an EU member; there is no plan B

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated today that Serbia wants to become a member of the European Union and there is no plan B.

At the Belgrade Economic Forum Summit, Brnabic reiterated that the EU membership remains Serbia’s strategic priority and central axis of its foreign policy, noting that the process of European integration is equally important for the European region and for Serbia.

She noted that all countries in the region are making efforts to speed up the process.

Brnabic reiterated that the process of European integration is equally important for the region, as well as for the European Union itself.

“I do not think the EU can continue without the Western Balkans joining the Union”, Brnabic said.

The Prime Minister thanked Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi for his policy and for “pushing” the enlargement process within the European Commission, encouraging the acceleration of reforms and a swift rapprochement with the EU.

“We know where and what we want to be; in the EU. There is no Plan B for Serbia. We want to join the EU, because it is in our interest and because we share the EU value system”, said Brnabic, adding that “regardless of the internal EU decisions or those of the Member States concerning the speed of accession, Serbia is determined to continue on the European path”.

For his part, EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi noted that “if Serbia is ready to carry out all the reforms by 2024, the EU must also be ready to conclude the negotiations when the country has completed its part of the deal”.

Speaking at the opening of the Belgrade Economic Forum online, Varhelyi said that, for Serbia and the entire Western Balkan region, “the only future lies in the EU membership, in the common market and the European system of democracy”.

“We are committed to ensuring the security and prosperity of the whole region, and we are working to give new life to the EU’s commitment to the Western Balkans, as well as to the whole enlargement process”, he said.

He went on to note that Serbia, with the new government, has a golden opportunity to make rapid progress towards EU membership.

He recalled that the new government in Belgrade has expressed its commitment to implementing reforms in priority areas such as the rule of law and media freedoms, and that it is responsible for conducting the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which embodies another condition for Serbia’s accession to the EU.

“It is in our common interest for the whole region, including Serbia, for the country to join the member states’ family. The EU has a lot to offer Serbia in terms of prosperity, stability, security, which can be a great opportunity for the people of Serbia”, Varhelyi said.

The EU Enlargement Commissioner also said that Serbia’s accession would contribute to the Union’s cultural wealth, ensure the region’s long-term stability and bring “an additional eight million people committed to a common European goal and common principles”.

Varhelyi stressed that enlargement to the Western Balkans constitutes a priority for the EU, especially given that, throughout history, the region has “rarely been stable, prosperous and secure”.

Oliver Varhelyi pointed out that the Western Balkans’s accession to the EU would mean a new large region, where there are no barriers to travel, trade, services and investment and which, he claimed, will open a huge opportunity for the citizens of the Western Balkans to live a better European life in the future. /ibna