Serbia: Government-opposition dialogue to begin with the presence of European Parliament ombudsmen

Serbia: Government-opposition dialogue to begin with the presence of European Parliament ombudsmen

The Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, told RTS that a dialogue will start in early March, in which he and the European ombudsmen will take part, while meetings with the parties are expected in the second half of March.

The second phase of the dialogue between the government and the opposition on the electoral conditions under the auspices of the European Union should start on March 1. Ivica Dačić told RTS that on March 1, there is indeed a teleconference between him as Speaker of the National Assembly and David McAllister and the four mediators.

“So, other political parties do not participate. This is just a video conference call. In a way, they consider the beginning of these activities to be cross-party talks», Dačić explained.

He added that the meetings with the parties, some of which voted for the talks with the help of the European Parliament, and some are against, will take place only after these initial talks, probably in the second half of March.

“It is necessary to determine these forms, as to who will participate. We have a situation where some parties do not want talks in the presence of foreigners, as they say, and on the other hand we have the obligation to listen to their proposals and views”, said the President of the Assembly.

He clarified that this is a bilateral dialogue under the auspices of the President of the National Assembly and not under the auspices of the European Union.

“The correct wording is that this is a cross-party dialogue under the auspices of the National Assembly, that is, the President of the National Assembly, supported by the European Parliament”, Ivica Dačić explained.

He went on to say that the government in Serbia is ready to listen to all proposals on improving the electoral conditions.

Regarding the issues under discussion, Dačić said that it is not possible to discuss them according to the principle of the “political jukebox”, ie the “source of desires”, and that it is not possible to analyze every proposal that appears.

“There are ten platforms and versions coming from different political spaces with different ideas. Among other things, one of these ideas is to change the editorial teams here in the public service. To be honest, I do not believe that the European Parliament will support any proposal against it, when it is, in essence, always supporting a public service that is out of political influence”, Dačić pointed out.

Asked how important the European Parliament’s report on Serbia was, he said it was important to hear what one thinks, but recalled that Serbia was not a member of the European Union and did not influence the work of the European Parliament.

“We still do not know the exact text, we have to listen to all this. I said that we are ready to examine every report coming from Brussels here and to make our assessments about it”, the President of the National Assembly pointed out.

Finally, Dačić criticized the European Parliament for some very aggressive behaviour, even openly against Serbia, which is voiced in the sessions of the European Parliament.

“I ask the president to react, because when someone says he is happy that Serbia has not opened any chapters, I expect the president to react”, Dačić concluded./ibna