David McAllister told that Serbia still has to work on fundamental reforms, adding that his fellow MEPs are calling for progress on several fields.
He said that the amendments submitted to the report by European Parliament rapporteur for Serbia Vladimir Bilcik reflected the views of MEPs on Serbia’s relations with the European Union and acknowledged the progress achieved to date. “At the same time, MEPs are also calling for improvements on democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights, media freedom, and the fight against corruption. At this stage, it is hard to predict the outcome, as the negotiations on the compromise text are ongoing”, McAllister, chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs said.
He added that the progress on rule of law chapters in Serbia’s pre-accession talks will determine the pace of the negotiations. According to McAllister, Serbia needs to improve the electoral framework which is why the European Parliament is ready to continue the Inter-Party Dialogue, which could assist in preparing the reforms.
Commenting calls for a reaction from the European Parliament to hate speech from politicians in Serbia, he said that democratic discourse requires the respect of certain rules and standards. “This applies to every political discussion. Respect is fundamental for a liberal and pluralistic society”, he said.