Serbia has been given the green light from the European Union (EU) for opening the negotiation Chapter 28 – Consumer and Health Protection, without having fulfilled the prerequisites for the opening criteria, which is very good news, according to Nebojsa Lazarevic, director of the European Policy Center and a member of the Core Negotiating Team in Serbia’s EU accession negotiations. He says that the criteria can make things very complicated and slow down the negotiations sometimes, not just for technical reasons, but because in such situations member-states have more impact on the process.
Following the announcement by the EU that the report from the screening for Chapter 28 has been adopted, the Government of Serbia should finalize the draft of Serbia’s negotiation position, the preparation of which will also involve the representatives of consumer organizations, the commercial sector and civil society organizations through the National Convention on the European Union.
The opening of Chapter 28 means that Serbia has a lot of work ahead of it on improving consumers’ position, which is still far from that of consumers in the European Union.
– This doesn’t mean that Serbian consumer policy is viewed as perfect. Instead, it points out that we are on the right track and that we are ready to initiate the negotiations. The worst thing at the moment would be to start fooling ourselves and use the news from Brussels as an excuse to relax. The interest of the state and the economy, but also consumers themselves, is for the reforms to be carried out, as that would enable us all to do business in a predictable, clear and fair business environment – says Nebojsa Lazarevic.
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