Sweden's new ambassador to Serbia, Annika Ben David, said that her country was strongly committed to Serbia's accession to the European Union (EU) and that Serbia needed to make additional progress in a several important areas, above all in achieving democratic standards.
In an interview with the BETA agency, Ambassador Ben David said on Oct. 22 that she "is pleased that the European Commission's report on Serbia's progress in the accession process was welcomed in Belgrade," adding that the document had "acknowledged the Serbia's progress, but also reminded that "there is a job that that yet needs to be done."
"The latter refers to the status of democracy in the first place, where regression has been noted according to international benchmarks against which democratic standards are measured, including a report by the Swedish V-Dem Institute. The principles of the rule of law and struggle against corruption are very important components of every strong democracy. Additional progress is required in those areas," the ambassador said.
She explained that the safety of journalists, the freedom of the media, media pluralism and access to information "are also areas in which progress has been made," but added that, "It is important now that additional measures follow for the purpose of further progress, particularly the implementation of the good measures that have been adopted, in order to accelerate Serbia's accession to the Union."