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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



"Focus on reforms, rather than on whether EU wants you"

The head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Sem Fabrizi, says candidate countries for EU accession should focus on reforms, which should not be merely cosmetic.

May 7, 2019

"We still have unfinished work. Integration of the Western Balkans awaits us. If we look at the last round of enlargement, I would say that the conditions have not changed," said he.

"The EU has not quite changed the 'cards' on the table, and I would not agree with such criticism that is heard during each round of enlargement," Fabrizi told an international conference in Belgrade dedicated to the topic.

He added that the "credibility of the process" remained the same, stating that enlargement can occur if the conditions are met, otherwise, if a country does not meet the conditions then it cannot become "part of the European family."

"I often hear that candidate countries are worried that the European Union does not want them, but the emphasis should be on reforms," the EU representative said.

Fabrizi pointed out to the importance of reconciliation and good neighborly relations, and said that the only way to change the picture of Europe is to "change the way we communicate, which is why the Western Balkans is now the process of reconciliation and the establishment of good neighborly cooperation."

He reiterated that countries in the enlargement process must focus on reforms that, as he said, must produce results like the development of the economy, while respecting social development and social rights.

"If all the elements from the freedom of the media to security are there, then a country is ready for (EU's) enlargement," Fabrizi.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=07&nav_id=106783

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