German Ambassador to Serbia Thomas Schieb said that, from her country’s point of view, Serbian European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic had been right to claim that Serbia is ready to open five new chapters in its EU accession talks, but that the EU is currently evaluating if that is the case.
“The EU is assessing [Serbia’s readiness] at the moment. It’s a standard procedure; yet, the minister never said that the new chapters can be opened only if substantial progress has been made especially in priority chapters. Serbia has to fulfill its rule of law obligations,” Schieb said for the Sept. 24 issue of the Blic daily.
He said that the three most important topics are the judiciary reform, the implementation of the national media strategy, and the fight against corruption, and that without advance in these areas there will be no opening of new chapters, so as “not to endanger the negotiations.”
Discussing the Belgrade-Pristina agreement reached in Washington, Schieb praised all activities that lead toward the rapprochement of positions of Serbia and Kosovo, and consequently to “the betterment of living conditions of the people on the spot.”
He saluted the agreement, but added that certain elements of it have the potential to lead both Serbia and Kosovo away from their respective EU paths. “[Serbia] moving its embassy to Jerusalem is not in accord with the EU’s foreign policy. The fact is that new agreements should not go against what has already been achieved or the obligations which are part of the EU negotiations framework,” Schieb said.