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Foreign Minister Paet: Serbia’s EU Accession Application to Be Assessed

25.10.2010

No. 326-E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who participated in the Foreign Affairs Council held in Luxembourg today, said that the EU foreign ministers decided to pass Serbia’s European Union accession application along to the European Commission so that it can begin its assessment.

“Estonia feels it is important for Serbia to continue its European Union integration,” said Minister Paet. “Serbia has presented its accession application and Estonia supports the subsequent steps.” European Commission Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Füle confirmed that the Commission is prepared to move forward with the process.

Serbia presented its accession application in December 2009. As a part of the integration process, the European Union requested Serbia’s co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. “The foreign ministers feel that co-operation with the Tribunal will continue to be of the utmost importance in Serbia’s integration with the European Union,” Paet added.

In the development of the European Neighbourhood Policy, Estonia considers the strengthening of the programme and support for the stable, democratic and economic development of the European Union’s neighbourhood to be important. “Attention towards our Eastern Partners, or Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, and the other Southern Caucasus nations, should increase,” Paet emphasised. “Our Eastern neighbours should be offered opportunities to further integrate with the European Union, including the advancement of free trade, visa facilitation and visa freedom. We would also like to turn more attention to the development of transportation connections.”

Paet stated that an Eastern partnership training centre is taking shape based on the Estonian School of Diplomacy in Tallinn. The centre will help to increase the administrative capabilities of Eastern Partners and give an opportunity for reform experiences to be shared.

The foreign ministers also prepared for the European Council taking place from 28-29 October. The focal point of the upcoming Council is the report by President Herman von Rompuy’s task force. The van Rompuy task force, which was created to discuss the co-ordination of the European Union budgetary and economic policy as well as the reform of its monitoring mechanism, will present its final report containing recommendations to member states for managing their economies.

Another important topic at the upcoming Council will be climate change and the Cancun climate conference set to begin at the end of November. The European Union hopes for a high-quality decision packet regarding how to move forward with climate issues, Paet explained. The EU would also like to extend the Kyoto Protocol and its regulations for releasing greenhouse gases into the air for a second period.

Other topics to be addressed at the upcoming Council are the European Union’s upcoming summits with the USA, Russia and Ukraine. The Estonian foreign minister also noted that in the case of Ukraine, presenting an action plan proposal for a visa dialogue during this meeting is essential. “In order for Ukrainian society to integrate with the European Union more quickly, a clear perspective of visa freedom is required.”

More information:
Helen Ennok, Press spokesperson to the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
pressitalitus@mfa.ee

 

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