Semi-annual EC Progress Report on Chapters 23 and 24 published

12. June 2017. | Belgrade

Chapters 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) are very important in the negotiations on accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union, as they affect the overall process of European integration and include some of the most important areas such as the judicial reform, fight against corruption, fundamental rights and freedoms, migration, asylum, the fight against organised crime and terrorism, etc. The new approach to the European Union negotiations, as defined in the Enlargement Strategy for 2012, defines that future candidate countries should be given enough time to show a certain level of implementation of the EU acquis, as well as of the standards in these areas. Aside from the fact that these chapters were among the first to be opened in negotiations with Serbia, they are expected to be the last ones closed in order to keep up with the flow of reforms in practice all the time.

In accordance with the EU General Position on Accession Negotiations with the Republic of Serbia ("Negotiating Framework"), the interim benchmarks for Chapters 23 and 24 have been established, which are being fulfilled by the Republic of Serbia on its path to full membership. The benchmarks, in particular, refer to the harmonisation of the legislation of the Republic of Serbia with the EU acquis, as well as to the achievement of the standards on which the EU is founded. In order to monitor the progress in these chapters, it is envisaged that the Commission regularly informs the EU Council and submits the reports on progress made on the fulfillment of these benchmarks in the field of the Rule of Law twice a year.  

Since the opening of the accession negotiations in July 2016, and after the presentation of the annual report for Serbia in November 2016, this report presents the latest semi-annual overview of the state of play, i.e. the progress of the Republic of Serbia in implementing the Action Plans for Chapters 23 and 24.