Wednesday, October 12, 2011

EC commends Serbia's efforts,save for Kosovo issue

BELGRADE - The European Commission (EC) underscored in the report on Serbia's progress on its EU path that the country has made considerable progress in most areas envisaged in the European agenda, but it also pointed to the problems primarily related to the Kosovo-Metohija issue.

The final version of the draft report Tanjug had a chance to preview will be made public on Wednesday. The recommendation about Serbia's EU candidate status and the start of accession talks is not part of the document, but a separate text which will also be released in Brussels on Wednesday.

The EC report specially commends Serbia on its efforts in tackling war crimes, countering organised crime and enhancing cooperation with neighbours. The EC also made a positive assessment as regards the efforts aimed at improving the work of the judiciary, enhancing the parliament's efficiency and countering corruption.

However, the report also contains strong criticims in terms of Serbia maintaining parallel structures in Kosovo and preventing Pristina from participating in regional summits. The EC especially criticised the Serbian leadership's 'inflammable rhethoric' and the propositions as regards partition of Kosovo.

When it comes to security, the report states that the Security Information Agency has too great authority and is interfering with criminal investigations and that the parliament's Defence and Security Committee has no material or human resources and expertise to efficiently perform its tasks.

Human rights, including the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, are a part of the European standards that need to be followed more consistently, the report notes but it does not directly refer to the Pride Parade. The report also notes that more attention needs to be attached to protection of reporters' safety.

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