Varhelyi: Brussels continues to strongly support Serbia
Brussels intends to continue with strong political and financial support for Serbia's European integration
By condemning Russia's aggression against Ukraine in the UN and the Human Rights Council, Serbia has shown its commitment to EU values, and Brussels intends to continue strong political and financial support for Serbia's European integration, said EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi.
"At a time when the world is facing an unprecedented act of aggression against a sovereign, independent country, the EU needs to engage more, not less, with the Western Balkans region and therefore we intend to continue our strong political and financial support throughout the region, including Serbia's path towards the EU," Varhelyi said in a written reply to the question submitted by a member of the European Parliament from the ranks of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).
Answering the question about the "assessment of Serbia's behavior" when it comes to alignment with EU foreign policy, Varhelyi said that the European Commission expects Serbia to "continue" to show its commitment to "gradual harmonization with EU's restrictive measures, including those concerning Russia."
According to Varhelyi, this is in line with the strategic priority of Serbia's European integration and the EU-Serbia Negotiating Framework.
When asked by the ECR MEP about the state of the rule of law in Serbia and the continuation of funding for the country from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, the commissioner replied that the EC is fully committed to respecting the rule of law and fundamental rights, which it also expects from candidate countries, including Serbia.
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