Expert dialogue, exchange of experiences in EU accession process

June 11 2024 | Belgrade

Expert dialogue, exchange of experiences in EU accession process

Organised by the Ministry of European Integration and the European Commission’s Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) Department, a professional conference titled “Achieving Success in the EU Accession Process: Best Practices, Strategic Planning, and Effective Implementation” is being held in Belgrade today and tomorrow. This event, the first meeting of chief negotiators and negotiating structures from the Western Balkans countries, as well as Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, was opened by Serbia’s Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević and Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Gert Jan Koopman. 

Minister Miščević emphasised that Serbia had initiated the expert dialogue between the EU candidate countries, representatives of the European Commission, and experts from EU Member States. “Our goal,” stated Minister Miščević, “is to discuss which experiences from previous enlargements we can use today and what new lessons have been learned in the integration process that the countries in our region can pass on to new candidates.” “The key area this workshop addresses is the experiences of improving the rule of law and working on Cluster 1 – Fundamentals, as the most important element of the negotiation process. Additionally, the aim is to deepen professional contacts with colleagues from all the candidate countries, not only among us chief negotiators but also among colleagues from relevant ministries in our countries,” highlighted Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Gert Jan Koopman stated that on the 20th anniversary of the EU’s biggest enlargement to date, they were gathering chief negotiators from candidate countries and EU Member States who had already experienced EU accession and its benefits. “In 1996, the EU launched the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange (TAIEX) Department to support the then-candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe in their accession. Today, we are using that very same framework to work with our current enlargement partners. Only by working together, we can build our common European future,” said Koopman.

Officials from eight EU candidate countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, Ukraine, and Serbia, as well as from EU Member States – Croatia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Slovenia, and the European Commission, will discuss today and tomorrow areas such as judicial reform, migration management, anti-corruption efforts, and public administration reform. Special topics also encompassed creating an institutional system for European integration in countries that have yet to start negotiations, the methodology for aligning with the EU acquis, and involving the public in the negotiation process.  Participants of the workshop included representatives from ministries and Serbian government bodies involved in the negotiation process, as well as the Delegation of the European Union in Belgrade. 

Photo: Fonet