BRUSSELS – Montenegro and Serbia are opining new negotiating chapters with the EU at an intergovernmental conference in Brussels on Monday.
Montenegro is opening Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change, while the new Chapters for Serbia are 17 – Economic and monetary policy and 18 – Statistics.
It will be the 32nd opened chapter for Montenegro, with the only Chapter 8 – Competition policy – remaining. The country has so far provisionally closed three Chapters: 25 – Science and Research; 26 – Education and Culture and 30 – External relations.
Serbia, on the other hand, has so far opened 14 chapters and provisionally closed two (also 25 and 26). This means that, after the conference, there will be 19 unopened chapters remaining.
Montenegro will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović and Chief Negotiator with EU for Montenegro Aleksandar Drljević. On behalf of Serbia, Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović will participate at the conference. EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Minister of Foreign Affairs of EU-Presiding country, Austria, Karin Kneissl will also be present.
What are the chapters about?
The environmental protection policy is based on preventive action, damage suppression, mutual responsibility and integration of the protection of the environment in other EU policies with the aim of maintaining biological balance.
Chapter 27 is regarded to be one of the most challenging in the process of negotiations. Reaching the standards in this area includes significant investments in infrastructure, as well as in adaptation and improvement of industrial techniques and technologies.
Furthermore, the chapter also requires investing in administrative capacities on national and local level and judicial capacities that should oversee the implementation of the legislation.
As for the chapters Serbia is opening, the acquis in the area of economic and monetary policy contains the rules that guarantee the independence of the central banks in member states. It is also forbidden that the central banks directly finance the public sector, as well as privileged access of public sector to financial institutions.
New member states need to respect the criteria for adopting the Euro. They will participate in the Economic and Monetary Union as opted-out states until the join, and will have to treat its exchange rate policy as an issue of mutual interest.
Finally, EU acquis in the area of statistics consists of legislation that is directly implemented in the member states. These acquis contain various methodological guidelines in multiple statistical domains, such as agriculture, economic and monetary policy. The EU is for the member states to align their national statistic system with the EU.