At the European Summit in Thessalonica held on 21 June 2003, the European Union offered European Partnership to the Western European countries as one of the key instruments of the EU pre-accession strategy for the potential EU membership candidates. The EU Council of Ministers adopted the Decision on the principles, priorities and conditions that is a part ofthe European Partnership with Serbia-Montenegro including Kosovo, in compliance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999.
The Partnership lists short- (12-24 months) and mid-term (3-4 years) priorities for preparingfurther integration in the EU. This mechanism shall exclusively determine relations between the EU and our country until the Stabilisation and Association Agreement has been signed.
One of the most important facts regarding European Partnership is that the financial assistance is conditioned by the implementation of the priorities (Annex to the document, Article 5). In other words, the document shall exclusively arrange relations between the EU and our country all the way through to the signing ofthe Stabilisation and Association Agreement-it is a new framework for defining relations between the EU and the Western Balkans. Financial assistance is also conditioned by the progress achieved in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, although these are the criteria set to be met for the membership, not for the association.
On the publication of this document, Serbian Government adopted Information on European Partnership and shalladopt the Action Plan in order to meet the priorities set in the European Partnership.
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