It is very important to redouble efforts to accelerate the accession process. The new methodology – recently approved by the EU, with the full approval of Serbia – should accelerate the accession process, including by making it more political and predictable.
The reform process remains the main avenue for speeding up the accession process. The adoption and implementation of reforms on the rule of law, continuous engagement in the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Priština dialogue and progressive convergence with EU foreign policy should continue to be front and centre among Serbia’s actions.
Serbia’s economic convergence with EU market governance and new priorities should continue as well. Looking at the most recent data, the EU remains a crucial partner of Serbia’s growth and modernisation. Some 65% of Serbia’s total trade is conducted with the EU and the Union’s firms represent 70% of all foreign investors in Serbia. A positive trend that will further benefit from Serbia’s continued reform process of key elements for investors and business operators includes the reform of public administration, public procurement, and green and digital plans.
The EU remains a crucial partner of Serbia’s growth and modernisation. Provided it persists with public administration and public procurement reforms, and the green and digital plans, Serbia could attract new investors and business operators
The new methodology – recently approved by the EU with the full approval of Serbia – should accelerate the accession process, including by making it more political and predictable.
EU assistance to Serbia for reforms and modernisation will continue in the accession process. EU assistance is dependent on several instruments, including policy assistance and financial support, particularly grants and loans. A great amount of work is done every day to help steer the legislation and its implementation to ensure Serbia operates according to EU governance in the different areas of the accession process.
In addition to policy assistance, Serbia also receives significant transfers of EU funds to support reforms. With IPA I and II instruments (2007 – 2020) Serbia has benefitted by over €3.3 billion in grants (i.e.: funds that Serbia will never have to pay back).
Beyond reform-related assistance, the EU has also provided substantial assistance to Serbia during difficult moments, such as the floods, the migrant crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.