The EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans will resume after Germany takes over the rotating presidency from Croatia despite the extraordinary circumstances caused by the pandemic, said participants in an online conference on the EU presidency yesterday (29 June).
However, the dynamic of the negotiations will primarily depend on reforms in the rule of law, they added.
Enlargement and the Western Balkans are among very crucial themes for the German EU Presidency, said German Ambassador to Serbia Thomas Schieb. “It is an important matter and we will deal with it seriously. Rest assured that the Western Balkans and the enlargement process will be pretty dominant during our presidency,” he added.
At the webinar titled From Croatia to Germany organised by the European Policy Center NGO and the EU Delegation in Serbia, Schieb also underscored that the accession talks would depend on reforms of issues such as the rule of law, corruption, the judiciary and the media.
According to Sem Fabrizi, the head of the EU Delegation in Serbia, the EU enlargement process must continue even under pandemic-like conditions and agreed that the rule of law was key to progress.
Croatian Ambassador to Serbia Hidajet Biscevic said that Croatia had taken over the EU presidency in extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic, and in a highly challenging political environment, but that it had managed to put the focus of the EU back on the Western Balkans. (EURACTIV.rs betabriefing.com)