EU accession: Balkans in negotiation slump

The rule of law and normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina are two key prerequisites that further progress in the EU accession process hinges on.

Furthermore, the fact that Serbia has opened only 10 negotiation chapters so far is a testament that the country has slowed down on its EU accession path.

This is also what the head of the Serbian negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic says. More or less… At the beginning of last week, at the 17th Serbian Economic Summit, Miscevic confirmed that the “EU accession talks are not progressing at the desired speed”.

“We have opened 10 chapters, but temporarily closed two. If you are asking me whether I am happy with the negotiation speed, I have to say that I am not. We started the negotiation process four years ago, and if we continue at the current speed, I dread to imagine how long it is going to take us (to finish the process)”, Miscevic says.

Dr Boban Stojanovic from the Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences says that fulfilling the conditions regarding the cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, and resolving our issues with Kosovo are no longer enough to expedite the EU accession process.

“Our citizens are under the impression that doing these two is enough, but what they keep forgetting is that we need to reform the entire state, and make it comply with the EU standards. Just like our neighbouring countries, we are deep into corruption, and have a problematic economy, and this is something that has to change. The rule of law is something that permeates all areas of life and this is where the biggest problem lie”, Dr Stojanovic explains.

Stojanovic also thinks that Serbia will struggle to harmonize its activities relating to environmental protection with the EU’s, since, in order to do that, the state will have to spend several billion euros just to comply with the European standards. “Then there is the tax system, harmonizing our market and changing the entire state administration. All of this requires time. It seems to me that political will for doing these things is subpar because the EU legislation impedes the policy makers in Serbia in their activities. They want non-transparent public acquisitions, they want the state administration to stay as it is, and they want state institutions not to be reformed since they can manipulate with them as they please if they don’t change”, Dr Stojanovic adds.

(Blic, 29.10.2017)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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