The European Parliament's rapporteur for Serbia, Vladimir Bilcik, has stated that Serbia had stagnated in the process of accession to the European Union in the past few months, and that other foreign players, like Russia and China, "are using every opportunity to expand their influence in the region," Radio Free Europe reported on Dec. 10.
Explaining that, for this reason, the EU enlargement tools must be used in a strategic way, Bilcik said that he believed the European Council "should be ready to open additional negotiation chapters with Serbia."
"The opening of chapters is the start of a long negotiation process about implementation and standards, but could also be a political turning point in the Western Balkans, in the context of facing the challenges of geopolitical competition and of our struggle for reforms," Bilcik said regarding the presentation of the European Parliament's (EP) report about Serbia before the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee.
As for the rule of law, Bilcik reiterated that the Serbian government had the majority mandate for the reforms and that the political crisis in the country was not yet over. "The next elections in 2022 must provide fair conditions for everyone and be held in an improved election framework. It is time to work ahead on the recommendations. In that context, we are ready to resume the inter-party dialogue with the Serbian Parliament as soon as possible," Bilcik stated.