Josip Juratovic, a member of the German Bundestag, said in Belgrade on Tuesday the election boycott by the majority of the opposition parties would only strengthen the current regime headed by President Aleksandar Vucic, the news agencies reported.
Addressing the 'Serbia's European Integrations 2016-2020: How far have we progressed toward the European Union membership, conference,' he said the political parties should fight to enter the parliament, 'the temple of democracy.'
"We know that the media freedom is endangered, we understand that the judiciary is not functioning, but that won't change with the boycott," Juratovic, a member of the Bundestag Foreign and the European Union Committee, told the gathering.
He said that changes in the Western Balkans countries were necessary for their European perspective, but that they were not possible as long as the so-called war structures were in power and until a new young generation focused on building the future replaced them."
"We have populist leaders who use the existing situation to profit in elections. They don't hurry into the EU… no one hurry in prison," Jurakovic said, alluding on former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader who ended up in jail for corruption.
Juratovic told N1 that he didn’t believe that any big and powerful country asked Pristina to introduce the 100 percent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia, as Vucic has said but without naming that state. “The EU has criticised and still criticises the move, but has no mechanisms to influence either the introduction or abolishment of the tariffs directly.”
"One side of the Euro-integration is the fulfilment of the accession conditions, but it is also a process to create a functional state, and we are trying to motivate the Western Balkans countries to do that. The EU has its problems for a long time, and it should ask itself what it wants, what is its goals, how to respond to the increasing nationalism," Juratovic has said.
He adds he favours a strong and unified Europe like the US, which will be able to deal with global issues equally to China, Russia and America.
According to him, the EU has an understanding of Serbia's cooperation with Russia and China but warns about the scepticism regarding the political relationship.
"You can't have close political relations with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Communist Party of China and at the same time reiterating that you share the EU's values," Jurakovic said.
He added he hoped that the EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania would start by mid-2020.