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Brussels, 7 November 2012
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the meeting with President of the Vojvodina Assembly István Pásztor
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle and the President of the Vojvodina Assembly, István Pásztor met in Brussels on 7 November 2012 to discuss Serbia's European Integration and arising challenges, particularly at local and provincial level.
Commissioner Füle and President Pásztor discussed the challenges for local and provincial authorities such as Vojvodina. Commissioner Füle highlighted that the Commission had welcomed the adoption of the Vojvodina Statute as a way forward towards the implementation of the Serbian 2006 Constitution and it is expected from the Serbian authorities, at both state and provincial level, to continue working in line with the Constitutional and legal provisions and in a cooperative manner. "We are keen to see Vojvodina continuing to remain a positive reference when it comes to decentralisation and local self-government matters as well as minorities' issues. The Commission will continue to further closely monitor developments on these aspects", Commissioner Füle stated.
Commissioner Füle also stressed that the latest Progress report on Serbia released on 10 October 2012 aimed to encourage the Serbian leadership to move forward on Serbia's EU integration path by meeting the key priority of taking new steps towards visible and sustainable improvement of relations with Kosovo1. "The Commission stands ready to confirm that accession negotiations should be opened with Serbia when such progress is achieved. This is a unique opportunity to move quickly to the next phase of Serbia's EU path", Commissioner Füle concluded.
This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.