The European Commission (EC) has used a more positive tone in its report on Serbia to unblock the enlargement process, but the document is nevertheless very critical, pinpointing a series of problems, says a senior researcher at the Belgrade Center for Security Policy, Jelena Pejic Nikic.
Pejic-Nikic said for Euractiv Serbia that based on the Commission's communication and the presentation of an enlargement package, it appeared that this year's report on Serbia could be more positive, but a closer look would inevitably change the impression.
"In Cluster 1, particularly the key areas like the independence of judiciary, the freedom of the media, fight against corruption and organized crime and public administration reform, Serbia is said to have reached 'some level of preparation' and made 'limited progress," the researcher explained. She recalled that "limited progress" didn't exist in the European Commission's original scale set in 2015, but was introduced later to denote any progress, as opposed to "no progress"
Pejic-Nikic added that for Chapter 23 (Rule of law and fundamental rights) the Commission had to come up with an even lower grade, "very limited progress," so as to describe the slight difference for the better in the new report.