An intergovernmental conference, at which Serbia is going to open a few new chapters in the EU accession negotiations, will take place in Brussels on 11th December.
However, there is now news as yet how many chapters are actually going to be opened, but the fact remains that technical preparations have been done. The chapters that could be opened cover the topics related to economy, finances and budget. First, the EU countries need to ascertain whether Serbia has made enough progress in the rule of law, based on the report by the European Commission.
The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn sees no obstacles for the continuation of the accession talks. “Still, I have to underline it is not only important to change laws, but also to apply them. In principle, everything is moving in the right direction, and I expect new chapters to be opened soon”, Hahn added.
The European Parliament’s rapporteur for Serbia, David McAllister shares Hahn’s opinion and says: “I think that new chapters, possibly three of them, should have been opened by the year end. However, this is up to member states to decide”.
According to diplomatic sources in Brussels, some member states, including the most influential ones, say that, although the Commission’s report states that Serbian has made progress in the last six months, there is also latency in the implementation of the relevant action plan related to chapters 23 (judiciary and fundamental rights) and 24 (justice, freedom and security).
Some sources say that chapters 6 (company law) and 30 (external relations) could be opened at the conference on 11th December, while opening of chapter 33 (financial and budgetary provisions) is not certain.
According to the accession negotiation rules that apply to Serbia, progress in all chapters hinges on the progress made in implementation of chapters 23 and 24 (both relating to the rule of law) and chapter 35 (other issues – normalization of relations with Pristina).
So far, Serbia has opened 10 out of a total of 35 chapters, and has preliminary closed two chapters.
This post is also available in: Italiano