European Integration Minister Jadranka Joksimovic has said that the next European Commission report on Serbia’s progress toward EU accession is bound to “contain criticism” due to the country’s foreign policy, regardless of any progress that has been achieved in the past year.
In an Oct. 10 guest appearance on the RTS public service, Joksimovic stated that, for too long, the sole question has been how far Serbia has come on its path toward the EU. Instead, the minister said, one should also ask “where the EU stands with regards to its messages, involvement and dedication” to accelerating the integration of the Western Balkans.
“As for our [side of the] process, there is the technocratic reforms aspect – where [our] obligations are clearly stated with regards to clusters – and the progress report on our country, [coming out on] Oct. 12, will present that. Of course, everything has now been colored by the [Union’s] Common Foreign and Security Policy, so I expect that, despite the huge progress we have achieved in the rule of law and the economy, the report will be rather weighted and contain criticism toward Serbia’s stance on the restrictive measures against Russia,” Joksimovic explained.
The minister emphasized that she is aware of how much the refusal to impose sanctions on Russia has altered Serbia’s image abroad and cost “everyone.” However, not heeding the will of the general public would also take its toll – and that price would be paid not by the government but by the country as a whole, Joksimovic warned.