The foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, has stated that, on its path to the European Union, Serbia had to give particular importance to respect of human rights, freedom of expression, democracy, the rule of law and judicial independence, and that the moment was right to move forward decisively in implementing reforms in these fields.
In an interview to BETA ahead of the visit of Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic to Luxembourg on Sept. 16, Asselborn said that "the normalization of relations with Kosovo is also a crucial step towards the European path of Serbia" and that he hoped Serbia would open new chapters in the pre-accession negotiations before the end of the year.
Asselborn said that his country was an "unequivocal supporter of the enlargement of the European Union towards the Western Balkan countries" and that it was committed to supporting the Western Balkan countries in their journey towards full alignment with the European values and standards. To the question about what he saw as the biggest obstacle to Serbia's faster progress toward the EU, Asselborn said that the current Serbian government was "working hard towards the strategic goal of becoming a Member State of the European Union" but that this was "a long and at times difficult process of bringing the national laws into harmony with the EU acquis communautaire."
"A particular importance has to be given to the fundamental rights: respect of human rights, freedom of expression, democracy, equality, the rule of law and judicial independence. I believe that the moment is right to move forward decisively in implementing reforms to further strengthen these fundamentals in Serbia," he pointed out, adding that it was important to continue work on reconciliation – the Western Balkans cannot be strong without reconciliation.