A meeting was held in EU Info Centre in Belgrade on 26 April 2023 between the coordinators of the National Convention on the European Union (NCEU) and the delegation of representatives of EU Member States in the Working Party on Enlargement and Countries Negotiating Accession to the EU (COELA).
In an open discussion on the negotiation clusters in Serbia’s EU integration process, coordinators of the NCEU spoke with COELA members about key issues of significance to Serbia’s path toward the EU, including: rule of law, judicial reforms, freedom of the press, human rights, environmental protection, climate change and energy, foreign affairs and foreign, security and defence policy.
Nataša Vučković, Secretary General of the Center for Democracy Foundation and Coordinator of the Working Group for the negotiation of Chapter 2 (Freedom of Movement for Workers) and Chapter 19 (Social Policy and Employment), participated in the meeting.
The Council of the EU decides about the different steps in the EU accession negotiations. COELA mainly deals with:
- preparation of the accession negotiations and EU negotiating positions
- assessment of progress made by the candidate countries in meeting the accession criteria
- relations with the candidate countries within the framework of the Association Agreement
- the financial instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
The European Commission provides the respective assessments in its annual reports and manages the financial and technical assistance provided by the EU to support Serbia in implementing the democratic and economic reforms necessary for its accession process.
The EU is Serbia’s most important political partner and its largest investor and trade partner. The EU is also the largest provider of financial assistance to Serbia. Since 2007, € 2.91 billion have been earmarked under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for Serbia for EU accession related reforms and alignment with EU acquis and EU standards, providing funding for well over 1,500 projects across Serbia.
Source: CDF/NCEU/EU Info