BRUSSELS – The fifth meeting of the Accession Conference with Serbia at ministerial level was held Monday in Brussels to open negotiations on chapter 20 – Enterprise and industrial policy, and to open and provisionally close chapter 26 – Education and culture.Regarding the chapters on the agenda, the Union has closely examined Serbia’s present state of preparations.
On the understanding that Serbia has to continue to make progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis in Chapter 20 – Enterprise and industrial policy, the EU noted that there is one benchmark that needs to be met for provisional closure of this chapter. The benchmark is as follows:
- Serbia puts in place and starts to implement a comprehensive industrial strategy, supported by a system of evaluation indicators and benchmarks as suggested by EU policies relevant to industry.
Regarding negotiations on chapter 26 – Education and culture, the EU considered that, exceptionally, benchmarks for the provisional closure of this chapter were not required, given the general good level of Serbia’s state of preparedness in the area of Education and culture, and the limited scope and particular nature of acquis obligations in this chapter. The EU therefore noted that, at this stage, this chapter does not require further negotiations.
For both chapters on the agenda, monitoring of progress in the alignment with and implementation of the acquis will continue throughout the negotiations. The EU underlined that it would devote particular attention to monitoring all specific issues mentioned in its common positions. The EU will, if necessary, return to these chapters at an appropriate moment.
Following today’s Conference, Serbia will have opened 8 chapters out of a total of 35 negotiation chapters of which 2 chapters have already been provisionally closed. Further Accession Conferences will be planned, as appropriate, in order to take the process forward. The accession negotiations were launched in January 2014.
The European Union delegation was led by Mr Louis Grech, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto of the Republic of Malta, on behalf of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The European Commission was represented by Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. The Serbian delegation was led by Ms Jadranka Joksimović, Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration.