Serbia’s goal is to get EU talks date in 2012, PM says

Serbia’s goal is to get a date for the beginning of the EU accession talks by the end of 2012 because it is its national interest, says PM Ivica Dačić.“(European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia Jelko) Kacin’s statement that Serbia will not get a date for the beginning of the EU negotiations by the end of the year is his position based on speculation whether Serbia will have enough time to do the job it is expected to do,” has said.

“We will do our best and our goal is to get the date by the end of the year or in the first half of the next year,” noted Dačić.He added that internal reforms were the primary goal since the country wanted to harmonize its legislation with the EU’s.

Commenting on Kacin’s statement on privatizations in Serbia, the PM said that he had been warning about the issue for a long time, stressing that one third of privatizations had been annulled.

He said that the new government had decided to inspect all suspicious privatizations “regardless of whether the EU is interested in the issue or not”.

The Serbian prime minister had a meeting with Kacin on Tuesday and said that he did not expect any new conditions for Serbia on its EU pathway.

“We expect a date for the beginning of the EU negotiations to be set soon because the new Serbian government is strongly committed to continuing internal reforms that primarily in the interest of the Serbian citizens. A decisive combat against organized crime and corruption is one of the government’s priorities,” Dačić pointed out.

According to a government’s release, the prime minister said during the meeting with the EP rapporteur that Serbia encouraged regional cooperation and that the government would try to secure all conditions for the work of independent regulatory bodies.

Kacin said that the EP delegation would visit Serbia in late September.

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