Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Chapter 35 on Kosovo cannot open new topics"

BRUSSELS -- The screening for Chapter 35 which is related to Kosovo was concluded in Brussels on Wednesday, as part of Serbia's EU accession talks.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
The chapter did not open new topics in the Belgrade-Priština dialogue, Serbian Minister without Portfolio in charge of Kosovo and Metohija Aleksandar Vulin stated as the head of the Serbian delegation in the talks with officials of the European Commission (EC) and European External Action Service (EEAS)
“Chapter 35 is not a substitute for the Brussels dialogue and it does not offer a possibility for opening new topics,” Vulin stated after over five hours of talks.

He noted that status issues cannot be resolved within Chapter 35 and that there are no pressures for this to be achieved, and listed the example of the Wednesday talks on the police which established the steps carried out in this area and defined the activities that are yet to be conducted.

Vulin said that the explanatory and bilateral screening was staged in Brussels on Wednesday at which both sides presented their respective visions concerning the normalization of the Belgrade-Priština relations.

“Everything that is set down in the dialogue with Priština will be automatically transferred to Chapter 35,” he underscored.

Vulin noted that Chapter 35 concerning Kosovo is a novelty both for Serbia and the EU, which means that all problems will have to be resolved on the fly.

He said that he would like to see the negotiations on the chapter open in the course of 2014, but he added that it is uncertain whether this would actually be done.

The Serbian delegation in the screening of Chapter 35 comprised Serbian president's advisor Marko Đurić, Secretary General Veljko Odalović and liaison officer in Priština Dejan Pavićević.

The screening is a mandatory part of preparations for opening each of the 35 chapters in the EU accession talks and in Serbia's case, the last chapter marked as "Other" covers Kosovo, which means that the normalization of relations with Priština is brought in connection with the negotiations.

Late in 2013, Serbia completed the screening on Chapters 32, 23 and 34 which cover the judiciary, police and public finance control. On Thursday, the screening will be held concerning Chapter 2 which covers freedom of labour movement.

After every screening, the European Commission files the report to member countries on the degree of adjustment of Serbia's plans to those of the EU and member countries then decide within the European Council when to open each of the chapters in the negotiations.

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