European enlargement commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said on July 15 that the EU wanted to speed up the process of enlargement, which meant opening two clusters in accession negotiations with Serbia as early as this year.
"The policy of expansion remains in the focus of our activities and we want to speed it up," Varhelyi said in a written statement at a conference called, Serbia and the EU: Supporting Development and Membership Talks.
Varhelyi stressed that Serbia had a key role in the region and in Europe and that the Western Balkans were a top priority for the EU. "This was demonstrated clearly during the pandemic as well, when the EU treated its partners in the Western Balkans as future members," he said.
EU Delegation Head in Serbia Sem Fabrizi said at the conference in Belgrade that the IPA2 instrument for preaccession assistance was a financial instrument that helped Serbia conduct reforms, achieve its objectives and "become a EU member sooner rather than later." "This is a powerful instrument that offers Serbia and other countries in the region financial support of the best kind," Fabrizi said.