Belgrade Wants MEP Fajon to be Out of Inter-Party Dialogue

The official Belgrade requested the exemption of Tanja Fajon, an MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Delegation to Serbia from the forthcoming inter-parties dialogue ahead of the 2022 elections in the country, she confirmed on Tuesday, January 26th.  

Fajon added it was unacceptable to Brussels because the EU had clear representation rules. 

She announced more details about the dialogue for Thursday, after new talks between the EU’s David McAllister and Serbia’s Parliament Speaker Ivica Dacic. 

„I haven’t heard that from President (Aleksandar) Vucic, but from David McAllister who told me about his talks with Ivica Dacic who asked that I don’t take part in the dialogue any more”, told Fajon. 

She recalled the EU did not put any condition to Serbia in regard to who would represent it. 

„We don’t influence the Serb side’s decision on who will represent it, so Belgrade cannot do that to us. We have our internal rules that envisage that (Vladimir) Bilčík and I participate on behalf of the EP. We never conditioned the representatives of the Serb side. It’s important to us that the authorities and the opposition take part in the dialogue”, Fajon said. 

Asked why she thought she was unacceptable to Serbia’s authorities, Fajon said it could be „because I’m a social-democrat, maybe because I criticized some things in Serbia with arguments. Maybe some think I represent the opposition. I’m sorry because my statements have been understood in that way in Serbia, but I’m used to politicians’ using my name in different ways. That seems to be a part of the political culture in Serbia, but not only there, in Slovenia (her home country) as well”. 

Fajon added it was still not known who would represent the Serb side and that it should become known soon. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the dialogue would be held online, she said. 

She rejected claims the dialogue imperil Serbia’s sovereignty. 

Asked if she has an impression that Belgrade was not dedicated to the European integration, Fajon said that any government should have a hundred days to show its intents. 

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