Parliament committee accepts draft reply to EC questionnaire
22. January 2011. | 06:41
Source: Tanjug, Emg.rs
The Serbian parliament committee on European integration accepted Friday a draft of the answers to the European Commission questionnaire, which will be used to form an opinion regarding Serbia's application for EU membership.
The meeting was marked by a debate which revolved around question 150 regarding regional issues and international relations.
In it, Serbia is asked to describe its relations with Kosovo. Slobodan Samardzic, a member of the Democratic Party of Serbia, thinks the question shows that the EU views Kosovo as an independent country.
"I suggest the answer be deleted or moved to another place in the document, but definitely not kept in the part about regional issues and Serbia's international relations," Samardzic argued.
He commented on the European Parliament resolution on Serbia by saying it was fortunate the resolution was not legally binding, since it asked Serbia to dismantle the parallel institutions in Kosovo.
Serbian radical Party member Momir Markovic remarked that the discussion about the answers could not have been serious in any way, because that large document was presented to the MPs on Thursday, just one day before the meeting.
According to Liberal Democratic Party MP Ivan Andric, the parliament helped write the answers regarding Serbia's political system, but there was no way to influence the other answers, since they were written by other government agencies.
Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration Bozidar Djelic was pleased with how dynamic the debate was. However, he stated that the answers do not imply Serbia's recognition of Kosovo's independence in any way.
The document treats Kosovo according to UN Resolution 1244, he explained. The EU does not have a unanimous view on Kosovo, which is shown by the fact that 5 EU countries have not recognized Kosovo, Djelic added.
The answer to question 150 states that according to the Serbian Constitution, Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia with a substantial level of autonomy, said Djelic.
The next question, 151, requires a description of the relations with the surrounding countries, and the answer refers to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, FYRMacedonia, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, Djelic noted.
"I just want to show that the European Commission took a neutral stand regarding Kosovo's status and that Serbia has followed the Constitution in all its answers," he stressed.
Commenting on the European Parliament resolution, Djelic stated that it can sometimes make decisions that are not in line with individual member policies.
Kosovo's status is not in the European Parliament jurisdiction, he argued. It is an issue with Germany, France, Italy and some other countries that have recognized its independence, Djelic explained.
EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele delivered the questionnaire to the Serbian authorities in Belgrade November 24. It contains 2,483 questions divided into 6 annexes and 33 chapters. The Serbian government completed the questions mid-January.