European Western Balkans
European Integration

EU to open Chapters 13, 33 with Serbia and Chapter 17 with Montenegro

Plenary session Week 27 2017 in Strasbourg - EP building and Flags

LUXEMBOURG – The EU-Montenegro Intergovernmental Conference and the EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference will be held today in Luxembourg where both Montenegro and Serbia are expected to open new negotiating chapters.

Serbia will open only two chapters: Chapter 13 – Fishing and Chapter 33 – Financial and budgetary provisions, even though it has submitted negotiating position for three more chapters: Chapter 9 – Financial services, Chapter 17 – Economic and monetary policy and Chapter 18 – Statistics.

Media report that member states need between four and five months after receiving a negotiating position to complete the technical process regarding the opening of the chapter. But in Serbia there are doubts that not giving the green light for opening these three chapters could be a political decision.

With two new chapters, Serbia will have 14 open chapters, out of which two are provisionally closed.

Montenegro will open Chapter 17 – Economic and Monetary Union. So far, Montenegro has opened 30 out of 33 chapters in negotiations with the EU, while provisionally closing three chapters.

This means that Montenegro will remain with two more chapters to be opened: Chapter 8 – Competition and Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change.

The delegation of Serbia will be led by the Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović, delegation of Montenegro will be led by Srđan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the EU will be represented by the European Commission and the Bulgarian EU Presidency.

From 1 July Austria takes over the rotating EU Council presidency from Bulgaria.

Official Vienna has already said that enlargement and concrete acceleration of negotiations with Serbia and Montenegro will be one of the priorities of the upcoming Austrian presidency of the EU.

In diplomatic sources, it is noted that Serbia could speed up the opening of negotiation chapters and that by the end of the year it is possible to organize two other Intergovernmental Conferences, one in October and the other in December.

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