British head of EU’s Delegation heckled in Serbian Parliament

KOCA SULEJMANOVIC

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic delivers a Vucic speech to the parliament in Belgrade, Serbia, 09 August 2016.

“Great Britain has left the EU, and I don’t know why he is persuading us to join the EU”


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The European Commission’s report on Serbia published on Wednesday was positive; but, on Thursday, the head of EU’s Delegation, Michael Davenport, was unable to present the report to a parliamentary committee of Serbia’s Parliament.

He was told by opposition MPs that he is British and can no longer speak with authority on enlargement.

Positive evaluation

Amidst the controversy surrounding a coup attempt in neighbouring Montenegro and deteriorating relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, welcomed the European Commission’s report on Wednesday.

It was good news when needed.

Vucic was eager to underscore progress in every chapter: the economy, the political system, fight against organized crime, and even good neighbourly relations. The Serbian Prime Minister underscored that Serbia’s “political role in the region and the migrant crisis” was recognized and that “the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank recognize our economic progress.”

Michael Davenport acknowledged Serbia’s role in the management of the migrant crisis and commented Serbia’s “sustained progress,” resulting in the opening of the first four chapters in its accession negotiations process. In fact, the European Commission has recommended to member states the opening of a fifth chapter, on public procurement.

Davenport also praised Serbia’s economic policy and its successful policy in attracting Foreign Direct Investment, recalling, of course, the significance of the EU.

Why is a Briton telling us to join the EU

But, on Thursday, Davenport went to present the European Commission report to the parliament. But, as Tanjug reports, Davenport was unable to start his presentation before the National Assembly’s Committee on European Integration.

Initially, opposition members of the Dveri Movement and the Serb Radical Party (SRS) refused to consider a document submitted in English. Then, the leader of the Dveri movement and MP, Bosko Obradovic, told Davenport to present “a report on Brexit” rather than a progress report on Serbia.

“Great Britain has left the EU, and I don’t know why he is persuading us to join the EU,” Obradovic said. Opposition MPs continued to heckle, applaud, and comment on anything Davenport tries to say.

 

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