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Meeting of Coordination for Conducting Accession Negotiations

June 11 2021 | Belgrade

Meeting of Coordination for Conducting Accession Negotiations

The Minister of European Integration and Chief Negotiator for Conducting Negotiations on the Republic of Serbia’s Accession to the European Union, Jadranka Joksimović, has chaired a meeting with the coordinators of all six negotiation clusters, where further steps of the Serbian Government in the negotiation process have been discussed.

In accordance with the newly established negotiation structure, this regular meeting has been attended by appointed cluster coordinators, i.e. representatives of ministries in charge of clusters Fundamentals, Internal market, Competitiveness and inclusive growth, Green Deal and sustainable connectivity, Resources, agriculture and cohesion, and External relations, as well as other members of the Team for Support to Negotiations.

Minister Joksimović and cluster coordinators have analysed elements of the semi-annual European Commission report on interim benchmarks for chapters 23 and 24, covered by cluster 1 – Fundamentals, as well as all necessary procedures that Serbia has carried out in order to timely fulfil all obligations from cluster 3 – Inclusive growth and cluster 4 – Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity.

It has been concluded that Serbia has achieved significant progress in many areas, primarily in the rule of law sector, particularly bearing in mind the aggravating social and economic circumstances in which the EU enlargement process is being conducted.

It has been stressed that, with greater political responsibility and faster pace, the Government will continue to achieve the goals it undertook in the accession process, demonstrating an indisputable commitment of all competent institutions.

Minister Joksimović and the meeting participants have concluded that all this should lead to the holding of the political Intergovernmental Conference, which represents an important step in the accession process and which will confirm and shape the application of the new methodology, for which Serbia is fully ready.

The decision on potential opening of clusters by the end of June depends on the procedures and time necessary for member states to prepare all required documents, as well as on the possibility of reaching a consensus regarding the political decision of all member states.

Certainly, if the opening of clusters does not happen during the Portuguese presidency, i.e. by the end of June, it is expected that clusters will be opened by the end of the year, as concluded at the meeting.

Joksimović has emphasised that what is important for Serbia is that the Government and the negotiation structure have carried out comprehensive and demanding activities in the previous months.

Within clusters 3 – Competitiveness and inclusive growth the following has been achieved: the Negotiating Position for Chapter 10 – Information society and media has been adopted; the amendment to the Law on Excise Duties has been adopted, which was a demanding benchmark for Chapter 16 – Taxation; and the negotiating positions for chapter 16 and chapter 19 – Social policy and employment have been adopted and sent to the European Commission.

As regards cluster 4 – Green Agenda, digitalisation and sustainable connectivity, two complex actions plans have been adopted within chapter 15 – Energy: for required oil reserves and unbundling in the gas sector, which has been a key benchmark for this chapter.

In addition, the Negotiating Position for Chapter 15 has been adopted. All these documents have gone through all formal procedures in the Government and the National Assembly, including consultations with the National Convention, i.e. the civil sector.

Source: Tanjug