European Western Balkans

Serbia opens Chapter 4 within EU accession negotiations

Serbia and EU flags; Photo: European Council

BRUSSELS – At EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference on Tuesday night, Serbia opened Chapter 4: Free Movement of Capital within EU accession negotiations.

This is the eighteenth chapter that Serbia has opened since the start of EU negotiations in 2014, out of 35 in total. In June this year, Serbia also opened Chapter 9: Financial Services. Currently, two chapters are temporarily closed, 25: Science and Research and 26: Education and Culture.

By opening only two chapters this year, Serbia has scored the weakest result since the end of 2015 when the first two chapters were opened. In 2016, Serbia opened four chapters, in 2017 six were opened, and 2018 again four. According to the Ministry of European Integration, at this moment several more chapters are technically ready for opening.

At the press conference that followed opening a new chapter with Serbia, Olivér Várhelyi, the new European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement said that in the coming period, the European Commission will be fully committed to the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

“EU enlargement will be my personal priority and I hope that at the end of our term, we will have at least one country in the Western Balkans ready to join the EU,” said the European Commissioner for Enlargement.

Várhelyi also announced that negotiations with the Western Balkan countries are expected to accelerate in January.

The Minister of European Integrations Jadranka Joksimović said that regardless of the atmosphere that has not been in favor of enlargement policy lately, by opening another chapter with Serbia, the EU has shown that enlargement policy is still alive.

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