Belgrade, August 29, 2012
SERBIA - EU
DACIC AGAINST SERBIA BEING LECTURED
BELGRADE, August 29 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Tuesday that the character of the latest visit of European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur Jelko Kacin to Serbia was the least on the political side and noted that nobody should lecture Serbia so lightly.
"Lower your tone a bit," Dacic said and pointed out that he respects Kacin and has been cooperating with him for a number of years now but it has to be kept in mind that Serbia is still an equal part of Europe.
Reflecting on Kacin's statements that investors are targeted by racketeering in Serbia, Dacic said that he does not know what the EP rapporteur wanted to say. The prime minister called on all foreign investors who were or might be targeted by any individuals seeking favors in return for investments to let him know and pointed out that such behavior would be punished.
The government interest is for investors to come to Serbia and not for somebody to make personal benefits through investors, the prime minister said. Still, Dacic said that he minds anyone coming to Belgrade from any world institution, including the EU, to deliver such lectures.
I am sure that corruption is not completely rooted out in the EU either, Dacic underscored and added that there are numerous examples of all events from the past, even those in the EP, where Kacin is coming from, Dacic underscored and added that he is against exerting political pressures on Serbia because of interests which some want to achieve in economic terms. I'm against the idea of others constantly coming to Belgrade so as to lecture Serbia, the prime minister said.
DACIC: FOOTNOTE ISSUE DOES NOT DESERVE MUCH ATTENTION
BELGRADE, August 29 (Tanjug) - Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said on Wednesday that the issue of footnote standing next to the name of Kosovo in regional meetings does not deserve so much attention, and underlined that the new government accepts what has been agreed by the previous one. "In my opinion, that issue does not deserve so much attention, as it is not essential," Dacic said at a press conference.
Dacic noted that the agreement on Pristina's representation in regional meetings had been reached in Brussels, and interpreted by Belgrade, Pristina and facilitator to the Belgrade Pristina dialogue Robert Cooper in different ways.
Serbia has insisted on Kosovo being represented asymmetrically, Dacic said, when asked by a journalist to comment on European Parliament Rapporteur on Serbia Jelko Kacin's statement that the agreement on the footnote had been reached with the Serbian authorities. That asymmetry is marked by an asterisk, and the explanation is in the footnote, Dacic said. "The dispute was over whether Kosovo's nameplate will be followed by both the asterisk and footnote, or just Kosovo with an asterisk, whereas the footnote would be in the documents," Dacic said, adding that state bodies would consider possible interpretations of the agreement.
KACIN: BELGRADE IS READY TO MAKE PROGRESS
BELGRADE, August 29 (Tanjug) - European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin said Wednesday that all the representatives of the Republic of Serbia with whom he had met during his visit to Belgrade showed commitment to making progress and willingness to participate in international meetings that are also attended by representatives of Pristina.
When asked whether it was true that the Serbian officials had assured him Serbia would change its decision and participate in regional meetings that are attended by Kosovo, as his assistant Andrej Later said, Kacin said it might take some time before Serbia saw its representatives at international meetings together with Kosovo and found out for itself that selfisolation did not benefit anyone and that Serbia had to take the responsibility.
All senior representatives of the Republic of Serbia I have spoken to are committed to making progress in this direction, Kacin told reporters in the Serbian parliament, adding an agreement about the way in which Kosovo will be represented has already been reached.
He said that one of the political requirements for Serbia's getting a date for the start of EU accession negotiations was full implementation of what had been agreed in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina so far, adding that the announcement by the highest representatives of Serbia about their willingness to continue the dialogue with Pristina on the highest possible political level was very important.
KACIN:SERBIA HAS TO COMMIT TO COMBATING CORRUPTION
BELGRADE, August 29 (Tanjug) - European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin pointed out at the Serbian parliament on Wednesday that it is most important for the country to commit itself to issues concerning the fight against corruption and organized crime on its EU path, as well as to the continuation of judicial reforms.
I want to underline that chapters 23 and 24 will be the first to be opened during the negotiations, and they are at the same time the most difficult and complex ones. These chapters will also be the last to be closed, in order to give enough time for all institutions to strengthen, become completely independent and for the rule of law for all citizens of Serbia and foreign investors to be established, he told the press.
According to Kacin, Serbia will follow the same path as Montenegro when it gets a date for the start of negotiations.
The rapporteur stressed that the EU expects to see progress related to these chapters, as well as proof that Serbia is fully committed to strengthening these institutions in order to start negotiations.
He commended Serbian Parliament Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic's statement that he will fight for strengthening the parliament's role and its independence.
Kacin voiced satisfaction with the fact that the opposition is at the head of Serbia's committee for European integration, which, as he put it, through the parliament's work creates a broad political consensus which again creates greater support for EU integration in the Serbian public.
Asked to comment on his statement on racketeering investors in Serbia, Kacin said that "there is systemic corruption which has to be fought systemically" in Serbia.
According to Kacin, Serbia needs determined judiciary, but it also needs to establish independence of institutions responsible for the fight against these challenges.
Serbian Parliament Speaker Stefanovic said that he and Kacin discussed the strengthening of the parliament's role, primarily its supervisory role. "The Serbian parliament will be everything but the long arm of governments. It will be a serious controller for everything that executive authorities do," Stefanovic said.
He also said that parliaments and governments make every effort to actively combat corruption and crime, which implies the strengthening of the judicial system.
Serbia is not running away from the fact that there is corruption at different levels, but there is also the readiness of the government, the parliament and all independent bodies to deal with it, Stefanovic said, adding that all investigations launched in recent days show Serbia's determination.
KACIN: SERBIA HAS SUPPORT OF EP AND EC
BELGRADE, August 29 (Tanjug) - European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko Kacin stated on Wednesday that Serbia has the support of the European Parliament and the European Commission to get a date for the start of negotiations as soon as possible.
However, Serbia has to achieve results first, especially in the fight against organized crime and corruption, he said.
At a meeting with representatives of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration Kacin welcomed the efforts to continue the process of European integration and stressed that Serbia's achievements and results along the way are an encouragement for other countries in the region, the press service of the Serbian parliament announced.
He expressed hope that Serbia will continue to implement internal reforms, as the best way to move closer to EU membership. Kacin also pointed out that reorganization of the judiciary and strengthening of institutions are starting points for further steps that Serbia plans to take in the process of European integration.
Kacin was received by Deputy Chairman of the Committee for European Integration Laslo Varga and its members Ljubisa Stojmirovic, Diana Vukomanovic, Gordana Comic and Dragomir Karic. Varga said that there has been some slowing down of the process of European integration, but stressed the willingness of the committee and the parliament as a whole to continue reforms aimed at accelerating the path to EU membership.
Serbia is ready to continue the reform of the judiciary and the fight against organized crime and corruption, but does not expect any new conditions on its way to Europe, the statement says.
KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
RS MINISTER: KOSOVO SERBS LIVE IN GHETTO
BANJA LUKA, August 29 (Tanjug) - Republika Srpska's (RS) Minister of Labour Petar Djokic has said in Banja Luka on Wednesday that the Serbs in Kosovo Metohija (KiM) live in the ghetto, the only one in Europe.
After the talks with representatives of Kosovo Serbs, Djokic said that RS would continue to cooperate with Serbs from KiM, and that it would back social institutions in certain infrastructure projects. "We want a better representation of Republika Srpska in that area, and to do as much as we can in the field of economic cooperation," Djokic told journalists.
"The Serbs in KiM live encircled by barbed wire, and there is no wire in the areas populated by Albanians. By this visit, we want to draw attention to that harsh, unjust reality, facing only the Serb people in the entire Europe," Djokic said. The international politics is taking part in that harsh injustice which does not show much understanding for real problems of the Serbian people, he said.
The onus is on the Serbs living outside Kosovo Metohija to help the Serbs there and make it easier for them to lead a normal and free life, Djokic said. The reason for this visit is to make sure that the brotherly relations with Republika Srpska are passed on to younger generations, said Miladin Djurovic, director of Kosovska Mitrovicabased intermunicipal center for social work.
This is one of the best ways to ensure that Serbs remain and endure in the territory of KiM, he added. "In this way, we are stronger, more determined and secure, as our brothers from RS stand by us," Djurovic said, who came to RS with children from Kosovo, for whom the accommodation was provided by families residing in Banja Luka.