“Serbia has received a long-expected green light from the European Union to open chapter 28, without previous conditioning with so-called opening benchmarks, which is very good news,” said Nebojša Lazarević, Director of Center for European Policy and a member of Core Negotiating Team in the Serbia EU accession negotiations.
After the announcement of EU that the screening report for Chapter 28 (consumer and health protection) was adopted, the Government of Serbia needs to finalize the draft of Serbia’s negotiating position. Representatives of consumer organizations, National Convent for EU and economy will participate in the creation of the mentioned draft.
Explaining why this is good news, Nebojša Lazarević pointed out that “Opening standards can sometimes slow down the process and make it more complicated, not only because of the technical reasons but also because in said situations the Member states have more control over the process”
Opening of Chapter 28 means that Serbia will have some serious work to do on the improvement of consumer position which is at the moment far from the one that consumers in the European Union have. “This does not mean that the consumer policy in Serbia is rated as perfect nevertheless it indicates that we are on a good path and that we are ready to start negotiating. The worst thing we can do is to start self-deceiving and to understand the good news from Brussels as a call for relaxing. It is in the best interest of the state, economy and consumers that those reforms are seen through the end because that would create a clear, fair and foreseeable working environment for all.” recommends Nebojša Lazarević.