The European enlargement commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, stated in the European Parliament (EP) on March 25 that Serbia should speed up and strengthen the reforms required for membership in the European Union, underscoring that the entire process of accession could only be speeded up if the key amendments, set in the new enlargement methodology regarding the upholding of the rule of law and basic freedoms, are carried out first.
During the debate about the EP's resolution about Serbia's progress on the path to EU membership, Varhelyi reiterated that the new enlargement methodology, which lays emphasis on the rule of law and basic freedoms, was the key element for the stability of the entire Western Balkans.
The EP's rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, said during the debate that the adopting of the draft resolution was painstaking and pointed out that one should not dwell on particularities and points of conflict, but rather aim for a change of the system, primarily in strengthening the rule of law and democracy, like the election law, to which the inter-parliamentary dialogue should contribute.
At the same time, Bilcik warned that "attacks on journalists and non-government organizations are absolutely unacceptable." He said that he expected in the debate that the EP members, "especially those who criticize the situation with journalists in Serbia," to also condemn the attacks on journalists in the EU itself, in Malta or Slovakia, where journalists who have investigated corruption were murdered.