French envoy: Opposition must have access to media

NEWS 07.11.2019 12:10
Source: N1

Jean-Louis Falconi, the French ambassador to Serbia, told N1 morning programme on Thursday his country wanted that “all Western Balkans state’s, and especially Serbia, join the European Union.”

 In an apparent clarification of his President Emmanuel Macron’s idea of “privileged partnership” instead of full membership, Falconi said Paris “has no doubts” about the Western Balkans’ membership, adding it was a process which meant certain conditions which had to be met.

Commenting on the EU failure to set a date for the start of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, Falconi said the two countries were putting efforts, but that some conditions related to the reforms were not fulfilled.

“There is no compromise with that,” the ambassador said.    

He added the relationship between France and Serbia were “extremely good,” especially after Macron’s visit to Belgrade, which Falconi described as both French and EU attempt to be more present in the Balkans.

Regarding Serbia’s internal political situation, the ambassador said it was complicated.

He added he wouldn’t judge “any party,” and that he respected the idea on election boycott, but said the participation in elections was a way to have a voice and that the question was how would the opposition continue to express its views if boycotted the polls.

Falconi said that an essential element in the functioning of democracy was the media freedom and access to media outlets.

“The opposition must have access to media to present its views,” Falconi said.

Speaking about a solution to the Kosovo problem, the ambassador said the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina was necessary for their European perspective.

“I heard President (Aleksandar) Vucic saying he is ready for the dialogue, but there should be a partner on the other side. The first condition is that Pristina forms a government, and I hope that the wish for the dialogue would exist,” Falconi said.

He added he hoped for the resumption of talks and said the “EU has the main role in supporting the dialogue.”

Falconi said that any solution accepted by Belgrade and Pristina would be satisfactory to France.