Serbia “is behind European standards by 30, 40 years” in terms of environmental protection, the European Greens’ co-chair, Austrian MEP Thomas Waitz said on Thursday.
Waitz, who recently spent three days in Serbia, commented on his visit for the N1 TV station.
“Pollution is a huge problem,” Waitz said, referring to wastewater he witness flowing into rivers.
“I think this is something that is 30, 40 years behind European standards. I saw illegal garbage dumps,” he said.
“This is something that needs to be taken up urgently,” he said, adding that “it needs the support of the European Parliament.” The Green MEP also pointed to the laws in Serbia “that are not being implemented in practice” and that the rule of law and functioning institutions were a prerequisite for taking up environmental problems.
Waitz confirmed that two applications for membership in the European Green Party had arrived from Serbia.
“I proposed that a commission review these applications and begin procedures, to take a look at their programmes and activities,” Waitz stressed, adding the process would ascertain whether they “truly believe in what they say.”