BRUSSELS – Montenegro and Serbia will not be able to close any new chapters in the accession negotiations with the EU before fulfilling all the interim benchmarks concerning the rule of law. This is the main element of a non-paper on the application of the new EU enlargement methodology, which was presented to the ambassadors of the EU member states by the European Commissioner for Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, Radio Free Europe reports.
“According to the revised methodology, no further chapters should be closed before the Interim Benchmarks for the two rule of law chapters are met, corrective measures should be considered in case of problems that arise during the negotiations, and existing rule of law action plans will remain in force, i.e. it will not be necessary to adopt new road maps”, the document reads.
The European Commission’s proposal on the application of this methodology to both Serbia and Montenegro emphasizes that the EU will maintain and further strengthen its strong focus on fundamental reforms and reporting will continue as envisaged in the negotiating framework.
Also, anti-corruption activities will be integrated through a strong focus in the relevant chapters, the report said.
According to the document seen by RFE, “the proposed changes can be adjusted to the existing negotiating frameworks with Montenegro and Serbia with the consent of those countries.”
EU Spokesperson Ana Pisonero told Pobjeda that the EU is currently discussing how to implement the new methodology.
“Internal discussions are underway on how to apply the improved methodology to Serbia and Montenegro, so we are not able to go into details,” Pisonero said.