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J. Joksimović: Analysis of the negotiation process and plans for additional acceleration

July 31 2020 | Belgrade

J. Joksimović: Analysis of the negotiation process and plans for additional acceleration

Today, Minister of European Integration Jadranka Joksimović has chaired the meeting of the Council of the Serbian Government Coordination Body for EU accession, where she has pointed out that it is necessary to accelerate the reform process stemming from the European integration process, through better coordination and political impetus to the implementation of activities and obligations arising from all negotiation chapters. The meeting was attended by 77 representatives of various institutions, members of negotiating groups, Negotiating Team and state secretaries. In addition, the meeting was organised in the form of a video conference call, in accordance with the health protection measures prescribed in the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joksimović has presented the analysis of the current state of play in Serbia’s EU accession process, primarily focusing on the key issues regarding the realisation of the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA).

The Minister and the Council members have also discussed a potential application of the new methodology and its cluster approach, including the ways it can reflect on the progress made so far and on the valorisation of the already opened chapters within certain clusters.

Furthermore, they have discussed the need to adjust the stages of the preparation of action plans for meeting the opening benchmarks for specific chapters and the preparation of negotiating positions according to the designated division of chapters into clusters, ensuring that the deadlines for the adoption of implementing laws and by-laws be formed in accordance with the pace of the realisation of the NPAA.

The NPAA should contain precise plans for the alignment of the Serbian legislative framework with the Acquis and for fulfilling the conditions for their implementation in practice.

According to the Cabinet of Minister Joksimović, the Council has assessed that these topics are being timely discussed, although the EC has not yet developed a plan for the implementation of the new methodology. 

It has also been stated that Serbia and its negotiating structures have made an analysis and established general guidelines for the upcoming period so that Serbia would be ready for the beginning of the application of the new methodology.

In this regard, Joksimović has emphasised that it is necessary to accelerate the fulfilment of opening benchmarks for the chapters within clusters where such benchmarks exist. 

“State institutions should timely plan the capacities necessary for the efficient implementation of reforms, so as to contribute to the improvement of the pace of the accession process in the following period,” stressed Joksimović. 

It has also been assessed that Serbia remains strongly committed and motivated in the EU accession process and that the pace and the quality of the implementation of reforms are key priorities for the upcoming period. 

As Joksimović underlined, during Germany’s EU Council presidency, Serbia should present its progress in adopted revised actions plans in the area of the rule of law, i.e. action plans for chapters 23 and 24, so that it could open new chapters by the end of the year.

As recalled, Serbia currently has five prepared chapters, while another three are in the final stages of preparation.

Joksimović has said that the Government has a serious approach to the reform agenda and European integration, which is proven by the fact that Serbia has been recognised as the most serious candidate for membership and as one of the frontrunners in that process in the region.
“The Government’s commitment to economic progress and the development of regional cooperation is also highly appreciated by the European Commission. The Serbian Government has never ignored the recommendations of its European partners, but has always diligently acted in accordance with all procedures and recommendations that have been the product of an objective overview of the state of play,” stated Joksimović. 

She has assessed that current additional efforts are directed towards achieving progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue as an extremely sensitive political process.

The Coordination Body Council is the highest body of the Serbian Government’s coordinating structure which reviews stages in the preparation and conducting of EU membership negotiations, the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), positions and the realisation of complex obligations stemming from the process.

Source: Tanjug