New Methodology For Serbia’s EU Accession Process

Gig Workers In Southeast Europe

Multimedia And Creative Services Workers Lead The Region

Southeast Europe’s online labour market is becoming...

Beijing Olympics: What Could A Diplomatic Boycott Achieve?

Calls for a diplomatic boycott of the...

Protesters Blocking Roads Due To New Laws On Property Expropriation And Referendum

Protests over the law on property expropriation...

We’re Giving Our All To Emerge From The Crisis

Despite the overall economic situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MFIC member companies continued to invest, create jobs and...

Serbia And European Union For Innovation

The synergy effect created from the partnership between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union has given a...

Mokra Gora Announced One Of The Best Tourism Villages Of 2021

The best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development have been celebrated at the...

WTA Suspends Tournaments In China

Beijing took umbrage on Thursday at the suspension of Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tournaments in China in solidarity with...

Delta City Becomes Part Of MPC Properies Network Of Shopping Centers

MPC Properties, a regional leader in construction and real estate management, acquired Delta City shopping center, and in this...

An overview of the current state of affairs in Serbia’s accession and recent changes

The EU accession process is a long procedure, during which a country applying for full EU membership harmonizes its rules and legislation with the standing legal system of the European Union, the so-called acquis”. The acquis represent the accumulated body of European Union law and obligations from 1958 to the present day. It comprises all the EU’s treaties and laws (directives, regulations, decisions), declarations and resolutions, international agreements and the judgments of the Court of Justice).

The acquis is a term for the entire body of the legislation, both primary and secondary, of the European Union. It encompasses every legal act, principle, objective, agreement, treaty, resolution, opinion, institutional and operational practice as well as the case law of the European Court of Justice. These, together, make a set of legal obligations for the Member States. Known in the past as acquis communautaire, (community patrimony), the term was used for the body of legislation of the European Communities, but the shorter term was adopted when, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, this legal body was incorporated into the successor of the European Communities, the European Union.*

Serbia (along with 5 other Western Balkans countries ) was identified as a potential candidate for the EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in 2003, and Serbia officially became an EU candidate country in 2012.

There were several milestones in the accession process for Serbia, which include the following:

In 2008, a European partnership for Serbia was adopted, setting out priorities for the country’s membership application

  • In 2009, Serbia formally applied for membership
  • In 2012, Serbia was granted the EU candidate status
  • In September 2013, a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and Serbia entered into force
  • In December 2013, the EU Council adopted the negotiating framework and agreed to hold the 1st Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia in January 2014.

Until recently, negotiations were divided into 35 thematic chapters. Important chapters for the agriculture sector are:

  • Chapter 11 – Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Chapter 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy
  • Chapter 13 – Fisheries

The agriculture portfolio of the EU accession process amounts to almost 1/3 of all acquis. It is to be understood that once-harmonized legislation cannot be just ticked off as a “job done”, since the EU legislation also goes through changes. In a way it is a “moving target” and a process that continuously needs to be monitored.

In 2020, the European Commission decided to revise the enlargement methodology.

The application of the new EU enlargement methodology in Serbia will be a “hybrid”, since some of its innovations will be partially applied, considering that the negotiating framework will not change. According to the announcements from Belgrade and Brussels, by the end of February, the European Commission will present the criteria for negotiations by clusters envisaged by the new enlargement methodology. The new methodology of the EU enlargement means abandoning the logic of opening and closing individual chapters and shifting to grouping negotiating chapters that are thematically related in the so-called clusters. When it comes to Serbia, with 18 (out of 35) open chapters, the country has at least one chapter open in five of the six clusters.

Serbian Minister for the EU integration, Mrs Joksimovic, is Serbia’s main negotiator with Brussels in the EU accession talks, and her team is changing its structure in line with the new methodology of work, so two new sectors will be formed. The first one will be centered on the rule of law and political criteria, and the other will be about the better coordination of the clusters of green agenda, digitalization and infrastructure connection. Agriculture topics will be a part of the cluster “resources, agriculture and cohesion”. Only Fisheries policy have met the opening benchmarks in the negotiation process and the rest of the sector is still to meet the threshold for the opening of negotiations.

The goal of Serbia is to open an entire cluster after a year of the pandemic. The Serbian Minister notes that “Serbia fares good in cluster 2.”  According to her, this is important, because this is the cluster that will define many important policies and instruments for recovery of the EU, Serbia and the Western Balkans, as well as all potential candidates for the EU. The Ministry will designate coordinators for all six clusters, in order to raise the level of the political responsibility of EU integrations within the government. The Minister told EurActiv Srbija she believed the innovative negotiation system would suit Serbia and expedite the accession process.

Details about the new methodology should be specified by end of February – early March. Moreover, an intergovernmental conference should be held by the end of June, during Portugal’s presidency of the EU. On that occasion, the application of the new methodology in relation to Serbia should be completely determined. “It is important to note that Serbia is not idly waiting for that plan of the European Commission, but has engaged in dynamic communication with EU member states instead, working in a partnership with the Commission and offering suggestions as to the implementation of the new cluster methodology,” the Minister pointed out.


Related Articles

Serbia And European Union For Innovation

The synergy effect created from the partnership between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union has given a crucial impetus to financing innovation...

Sustainable Financing

A Capital-Markets Union Is The Key To Greening Europe

In the absence of a true capital-markets and banking union, the European Union will not be able to mobilize the financing it needs to...

IFC’s Integrated Environmental, Social and Governance Program in Serbia

A Timely Opportunity For Serbian Companies To Go Sustainable

In Serbia, change is happening, with the country all set to prioritize a green path to accelerate its post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Going forward, as...

Protests Against Covid Rules And Lockdowns Erupt Across Europe

Protests against fresh Covid-19 restrictions have rocked Europe over the weekend, with demonstrations breaking out in places such as Brussels, Vienna, Rome and Amsterdam. There...

Minister Of Foreign Affairs Met With The EU Ambassadors Accredited In Serbia

Selakovic underlined that membership in the EU is an absolute priority of our foreign policy and strategic commitment and added that we are...

Deputy Secretary-General of EEAS Visited Belgrade

On 16 and 17 November Mr Enrique Mora, Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs / Political Director of the European External Action Service of the...

Serbia To Be Connected To The EU Digital COVID Certificate System

As of 16 November 2021, Serbia will be connected to the EU Digital COVID Certificate System. Being part of the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate System...

Top 10 Startups in Europe

Europe is a hub for numerous innovative and ambitious startups. The European Silicon Valley in Europe is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Tallinn has one...