National Program for Integration of the Republic of Serbia into the European Union (NPI)

National Program for Integration of the Republic of Serbia into the European Union

By signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), Serbia is committed to a gradual harmonization of legislation with the acquis of the European Communities, as well as to its consistent application. In this regard, according to Article 72, Serbia is expected to prepare, in agreement with the European Commission, a special program for implementing commitments under the SAA, whose implementation shall be monitored by the European Union.

What is NPI?

The National Programme for Integration (NPI) is a document prepared by each country- candidate for EU membership. Given that Serbia has no such status, the Government of Serbia prepared this document before applying for candidacy to the EU, to show that we have very good administrative capacities that are able to accelerate the process of European integration.

NPI is a precise plan on how to meet all the criteria necessary to become an EU member state, from political and economic, to the most detailed standards that exist in the EU in trade, agriculture, environmental protection, infrastructure...

This document was adopted at the session of the Government heldon 9 October 2008, while the first report on the implementation of the National Programme for Integration was adopted on 5 February 2009.

What are the contents of this document?

The program was prepared after the staff of ministries had read all legal rules of the EU, established what had been adopted in our legislation and drafted a very coherent plan that set a timeframe for the implementation of standards that have still not been accepted in Serbia, ending with 2012, which is deemed to be the year when Serbia would be ready to assume all obligations of EU membership.

At the same time, it has also been defined which new institutions must be created in order to strengthen the administrative capacity, and which financial sources would be used to finance everything. NPI also deals with the translation of acquis communautaire into the Serbian language.

Since the NPI presents a detailed overview of the reforms and activities to be implemented next year, it may also be used as information for the business sector in planning their future activities.

What is the structure of the NPI?

The structure of the NPI has six main sections:

1. Political criteria;

2. Economic criteria;

3. Ability to assume the obligations of membership;

4. Administrative and judicial capacity;

5. Preparation of the national version of the EU acquis

6. Assessment of the financial needs (budget and EU funds) to support the implementation of reforms in all areas.

NPI enables the public to understand and monitor the process of integration. As such, it represents a significant tool for promoting transparency in the work of the government.

NPI, as a document of the Government, shall be submitted to the National Assembly for examination, given that the Assembly must be informed of the entire process. The legislative part of the NPI will be of great importance to the work plan of the Assembly, bearing in mind that it, as a legislative body, must follow the schedule for adoption of legislation established in the NPI.

The legislative plan NPI 2010-2012 can be downloaded here.