Last modified on 16 July 2014, at 15:36

Accession of Serbia to the European Union

Serbian EU accession bid
Serbia EU accession logo.svg
European Union Serbia Locator.svg
EU member state average Serbia
PPP GDP ($M) 552,780 81,616
Area (km2) 165,048 88,361
Population 18,583,598 7,186,862
Status
Negotiating
Opened chapters: 0
Closed chapters: 0
Website
seio.gov.rs
serbiaineurope.com
Coat of arms of Serbia small.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Serbia

The accession of Serbia to the European Union is the process of the Republic of Serbia being admitted into the framework of the European Union as a full-fledged member state.

On 7 November 2007, Serbia initialed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union. This was a milestone in Serbia's accession negotiations and was executed following the advice of chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who advised the EU that the country was complying adequately with the tribunal but Ratko Mladić must be in The Hague prior to any official signing being able to take place.[1] Mladić was subsequently arrested on 26 May 2011, and has since been extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to stand trial.[2] On 20 July, Goran Hadžić became the last indicted fugitive to be arrested.[3] After setbacks in the political field, on 7 December 2009 the EU unfroze the trade agreement with Serbia[4] and the Schengen countries dropped the visa requirement for Serbian citizens on 19 December 2009.[5]

Serbia officially applied for European Union membership on 22 December 2009,[6] and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate on 12 October 2011. After the vote of the 27 EU foreign ministers on 28 February 2012, where with 26 votes for and 1 vote against, a candidate status recommendation was issued, and Serbia received full candidate status on 1 March. On 28 June 2013 the European Council endorsed the Council of Ministers conclusions and recommendations to open accession negotiations with Serbia.[7][8] In December 2013 the Council of the European Union approved opening negotiations on Serbia's accession in January 2014,[9] and the first Intergovernmental Conference was held on 21 January at the European Council in Brussels.[10]

Serbian government stanceEdit

Novi Sad City Hall. The building where EU-Serbian government negotiations are held

The government originally set a goal for EU accession by 2014, as per the Papandreou plan - Agenda 2014.[11][12] Presenting his key-note address before the Serbian Parliament in April 2014, the Prime Minister-Designate Aleksandar Vucic said that the negotiations with the European Union continue in good faith that until the end of the mandate of his Government they will be finished. He also said that this process will be a priority and that "if we work hard, I believe that Serbia could become a full member of the European Union until the end of the decade".[13] During the visit of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton to Belgrade he assessed that there is a chance for Serbia to become a full member of the EU by 2020 and reiterated that that is the goal to be reached for the sake of our country and internal reforms, which should be completed by 2018.[14]

The Serbian government has declared that the status of the Kosovo region should not be tied with the EU negotiations. As of September 2012, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Štefan Füle, has denied that the European Union will insist on Serbia's recognition of Kosovo before it can join the organization.[15]

Dispute in the government in 2008Edit

Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement on 29 April 2008.[16] Vojislav Koštunica, Serbian Prime Minister at the time, said on 1 May that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he said that the SAA should have been signed. But one day later, on 2 May 2008, he vowed to annul the agreement after the election, calling it “a trick”, “Solana's agreement” and “the Tadić-Đelić SAA signature”.[17][18] After the Serbian parliamentary election, 2008, a new parliamentary majority and government was formed and the SAA opposition was left without political power. The new Serbian Prime Minister, Mirko Cvetković, announced “One of the first moves of the new government will be to submit the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union to the parliament for ratification.[19] As of January 2009 the Serbian government has started to implement its obligations under the agreement unilaterally.[20] The effects remain to be evaluated by the European Commission.

According to a survey by the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy, as of November 2009, support for accession among Serbians was 71 percent.[21] However, that support has rapidly dropped, falling to around 60% in late 2010 and 42.4% in April 2011.[22]

European Union stanceEdit

An earlier obstacle for Serbia's access to the EU was their cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY),[23] however this has been overcome since all the indicted, the last of which were Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, have been extradited to the ICTY. Ratko Mladić was arrested on 26 May 2011 and Goran Hadžić on 20 July 2011.[24]

A strong opponent of Serbia's signing and ratification of the SAA used to be the Netherlands, which stated that it will not put the SAA in force until Ratko Mladić is in ICTY custody. On 15 September 2008, the Netherlands froze the trade-related part of the SAA with Serbia.[25][26] However, the Netherlands now actively supports Serbia’s efforts to join the EU and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia was ratified by the Netherlands in 2012. The Netherlands also highlight the importance of normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina and carrying out reforms vital for EU membership.[27]

During her visit to Serbia the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stated that Serbia "can be example to others in region" and that the country "can show them what can be achieved through hard work and leadership." She also stressed then that Serbia has always been a part of Europe and that Serbia is an important political partner of the EU which is proved by the results that have been achieved in the normalization of the relations with Priština.[28]

Serbia and the EU were at odds over implementation of the EU's EULEX mission to Kosovo. The EU wants to implement its mission in Kosovo according to Martti Ahtisaari's Kosovo status proposal, but Serbia wants EULEX to be first approved by the UN Security Council in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.[29][30] This has subsequently occurred after the UN Chancellor and Serbian government have reached a 5-point plan, after which the UNSC has approved the EULEX mission, which functioned under the mandate of the UNMIK. On 19 May 2011, during his official visit to Serbia, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said that recognition of Kosovo is not a pre-condition for Serbian EU accession.[31] Enver Hoxhaj, Kosovo's Minister of Foreign Affairs, has suggested that the EU should enlarge to Kosovo and Serbia simultaneously due to concerns that if Serbia was admitted first they could veto Kosovo's membership.[32]

The signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement was opposed by the governments of the Netherlands and Belgium while the Government of Spain lobbied on behalf of Serbia.[33]

NegotiationsEdit

The European Union has been considering enlargement in the Balkans since at least the late 1990s.[23] The negotiations became serious after Serbia began the reform process after the fall of the Milošević government in 2000, back then as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (with Montenegro)[34] when the EU officially declared that the Balkan states are potential candidates for membership, confirmed in 2003.[23] Negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement started in November 2005.[23]

On 3 May 2006, the European Union suspended SAA talks with Serbia over its failure to arrest Ratko Mladić, stating that Serbia failed to fulfill its commitment to fully co-operate with International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.[23] This slowed the pace of Serbia's EU entry and the reform process in Serbia. In July 2006, an action plan for the arrest of Ratko Mladić was issued by the government which was expected to improve relations with EU. In May 2007, Serbian parties reached an agreement on a new government, and placed President Boris Tadić as head of the newly created National Security Council. Within weeks of the Council's establishment, Serbian officials made two key arrests of indicted war criminals. As a result, on 13 June 2007, the European Union decided to reopen negotiations. On 21 July 2008, Radovan Karadžić was arrested. On 26 May 2011 Mladić was arrested.

On 8 November 2007, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn initialed in Brussels the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Serbia and the European Union.[35] Olli Rehn said that the EU decision to initial the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia was the result of improved cooperation with the ICTY, as reported by the chief prosecutor of this Tribunal, Carla Del Ponte.

Rehn underlined that full cooperation of Belgrade with the ICTY remains a precondition for signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which was initialed two years after the launching of the first negotiation round. On 16 January 2008 the Netherlands and Belgium confirmed that their countries would not sign the SAA (signatures are needed from all EU member states) until Serbia complied fully with the ICTY.[36] On 14 January 2008 ICTY prosecutor Serge Brammertz stated that there was no change and Serbia was still not fully cooperating.[37]

Following this agreement, the EU planned to grant candidate status to Serbia as early as 2009, contingent on its full cooperation with the Hague tribunal. The European Commission (EC) recommended making it an official candidate on 12 October 2011. After the vote of the 27 EU foreign ministers on 28 February 2012, where with 26 votes for and 1 vote against a candidate status recommendation was issued, Serbia received a full candidate status on 1 March. In December 2012, the Council launched the accession process with a view to open negotiations in June 2013, provided that political conditions regarding cooperation with Kosovo were met. Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement, said that a progress report on the opening of negotiations would be published by the EC in the spring of 2013.[38]

On 22 April 2013, the governments of Kosovo and Serbia completed the Brussels Agreement, which was hailed as a major step towards normalising relations,[39] enabling the start of EU entry talks with Serbia.[40] On June 28, 2013 the European Council endorsed the Council of Ministers conclusions and recommendations to open accession negotiations with Serbia, and announced that they would commence by January 2014 at the latest.[7][8] The following day, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vincent Degert, stated that the screening of the acquis had commenced.[41] Screening of the acquis started on 25 September 2013.[42]

In December 2013 the Council of the European Union approved opening negotiations on Serbia's accession in January 2014,[9] and the European Council endorsed the start of negotiations several days later.[43][44] The first Intergovernmental Conference was held on 21 January at the European Council in Brussels. Serbia was represented by Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his first deputy Aleksandar Vučić, while the EU was represented by their Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Evangelos Venizelos.[10]

Negotiation progressEdit

Acquis chapter EC assessment at start Screening started Screening completed Chapter opened Chapter closed
1. Free Movement of Goods Further efforts needed 2014-06-17[45] 2014-06-20[45]
2. Freedom of Movement For Workers Further efforts needed 2014-01-23[46] 2014-01-30[47]
3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services Further efforts needed 2014-01-30[47] 2014-03-13[48]
4. Free Movement of Capital Further efforts needed
5. Public Procurement Further efforts needed 2014-05-13[49]
6. Company Law No major difficulties expected
7. Intellectual Property Law Further efforts needed
8. Competition Policy Further efforts needed 2014-03-31 2014-04-02[50]
9. Financial Services Further efforts needed
10. Information Society & Media Further efforts needed 2014-05-22[51] 2014-07-02[52]
11. Agriculture & Rural Development Considerable efforts needed 2014-05-14[53] 2014-05-16[54]
12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy Further efforts needed 2014-02-03 2014-02-07[55]
13. Fisheries No major difficulties expected
14. Transport Policy Further efforts needed
15. Energy Further efforts needed 2014-04-29[56] 2014-06-12[57]
16. Taxation No major difficulties expected
17. Economic & Monetary Policy No major difficulties expected
18. Statistics No major difficulties expected 2014-05-20[58] 2014-05-21[59]
19. Social Policy & Employment Further efforts needed 2014-06-24[60] 2014-06-26
20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy No major difficulties expected 2014-04-02 2014-04-03[61]
21. Trans-European Networks Further efforts needed 2014-04-29[56] 2014-04-30
22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments Further efforts needed
23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights Considerable efforts needed 2013-09-25 2014-01-30[47]
24. Justice, Freedom & Security Considerable efforts needed 2013-10-02[62] 2014-01-30[47]
25. Science & Research No major difficulties expected 2014-06-12 2014-06-12[63]
26. Education & Culture No major difficulties expected 2014-02-20 2014-02-20[64]
27. Environment Totally incompatible with acquis
28. Consumer & Health Protection Further efforts needed
29. Customs Union No major difficulties expected 2014-06-03[65] 2014-06-04
30. External Relations No major difficulties expected 2014-07-02[66]
31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy No major difficulties expected 2014-07-15[67]
32. Financial Control Considerable efforts needed 2013-10-17[68] 2013-11-26[69]
33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions No major difficulties expected
34. Institutions Nothing to adopt
35. Other: Relations with Kosovo* Further efforts needed 2014-01-22[70] 2014-01-22[71]
Progress 22 out of 34 19 out of 34 0 out of 35 0 out of 35

Stabilisation and Association AgreementEdit

Central bank of Serbia implemented a mechanism to reach the same monetary policy as the rest of EU countries
Serbian Ambassadorial conference 2010 with George Papandreou. The government of Serbia has set a goal for EU accession by 2014, as per the Papandreou plan - Agenda 2014

Kosovo's provisional government unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. This was followed by most EU countries recognising Kosovo as an independent country. These events heavily influenced the Serbian political landscape. The central topic on which the coalition partners diverged was Serbia's EU accession.

On 7 November 2007, Serbia initialed a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union, agreeing on the final version of the text to which no or little changes are to be made. This was the step immediately preceding the official signing that was expected to take place in 2008 and was a milestone in Serbia's accession negotiations. It was executed following the advice of chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who advised the EU that the country was complying adequately with the tribunal but Ratko Mladić must be in The Hague prior to any official signing being able to take place.[1] Mladić was subsequently arrested on 26 May 2011, and has since been extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to stand trial.[2] On 20 July, Goran Hadžić became the last indicted fugitive to be arrested.[3]

On 4 April 2008, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, supported by Velimir Ilić, Minister of Infrastructure, stated that EU membership was no longer on the agenda for Serbia. Koštunica said that before EU accession continuation Serbia and the EU must discuss the matter of borders and Serbia's territorial integrity.[72] He said that Serbia must by no means sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and referred to the agreement as “Solana's agreement”.[73][74][75]

At the same time President Boris Tadić said that the Vienna Convention allows him to sign the agreement and that he will sign it if it is offered.[76] Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister, had previously been authorised by the Government to sign the agreement and was still willing to do so,[77] which he did on 29 April 2008. The ceremony in Luxembourg was attended by President Boris Tadić and Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić.[16]

On 1 May Koštunica said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was right when he said that the SAA should have been signed but one day later on 2 May 2008 he vowed to annul the agreement after the election, calling it “a trick”, “Solana's agreement” and “the Tadić-Đelić SAA signature”.[17][18]

After the Serbian parliamentary election of 2008, a new parliamentary majority and government was formed, and the SAA opposition was left without political power. The new Serbian Prime Minister, Mirko Cvetković, announced "One of the first moves of the new government will be to submit the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union to the parliament for ratification"[19] and on 9 September 2008 the Parliament of Serbia ratified the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU. The European Commission (EC) subsequently welcomed the ratification of the agreement.[78]

On 15 September 2008, the Netherlands froze the trade related part of a pre-accession deal (SAA) with Serbia.[25]

On 16 October 2008, the Serbian government unilaterally decided to begin implementing the Interim Trade agreement with the EU starting 1 January 2009.[79][80]

After setbacks in the political field, on 7 December 2009 the EU unfroze the trade agreement with Serbia[4] and the Schengen countries dropped the visa requirement for Serbian citizens on 19 December 2009.[5]

By August 2012, all EU member states except Lithuania had ratified Serbia's SAA agreement.[81] Danas has reported that the delay was in part due to the election of Vuk Jeremić, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, as President of the United Nations General Assembly in June 2012 ahead of Dalius Čekuolis, Lithuania's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.[82] The cancellation of a deal by a Lithuanian company to privatize the Serbian brewery Beogradska Industrija Piva has also been suggested as a major impediment to agreement's ratification.[83]

In March 2013, Serbia's Assistant Foreign Minister Ljubica Vasić reported that the Lithuanian parliament planned to debate the ratification of Serbia's SAA in their spring session.[84] Linas Linkevičius, Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged the tense relations between the two countries, but said that ratification of the SAA was “underway” and that “Our government has already given its consent. It is parliament's turn now. I have spoken personally with leaders in parliament and they are planning on putting the issue on the agenda in accordance with the rules of procedure. They are not planning on artificially stopping the process.”[85] Following a meeting with Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius in April 2013, Dačić stated that he expected the agreement to be ratified as soon as possible, and that the issues which had prevented ratification should be put behind the two countries.[83] The Lithuanian Seimas subsequently ratified the SAA on 18 June 2013,[86] and the agreement entered into force on 1 September 2013.[87]

Summary of ratification processEdit

Event Macedonia [88] Croatia [89] Albania [90] Montenegro [91][Note 1] Bosnia and
Herzegovina
[93]
Serbia [94][Note 2] Kosovo* [Note 3]
SAA negotiations start 2000-04-05 2000-11-24 2003-01-31 2005-10-10 2005-11-25 2005-10-10 2013-10-28[96]
SAA initialled 2000-11-24 2001-05-14 2006-02-28 2007-03-15 2007-12-04 2007-11-07 (2014)[97]
SAA/IA signature 2001-04-09 2001-10-29 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2008-04-29 (?) [Note 4]
Interim Agreement:
EC ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2009-12-08 N/A
SAP state ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-10-09 2007-11-14 2008-06-20 2008-09-22 N/A
entry into force 2001-06-01 2002-03-01 2006-12-01 2008-01-01 2008-07-01 2010-02-01 N/A
Notification of the EC of SAA ratification by:
SAP state 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-11-09 2007-11-13 2009-02-26 2008-09-22 (?)
Austria 2002-09-06 2002-03-15 2008-05-21 2008-07-04 2009-09-04 2011-01-13 N/A
Belgium 2003-12-29 2003-12-17 2008-10-22 2010-03-29 2010-03-29 2012-03-20 N/A
Bulgaria entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2009-03-13 2010-08-12 N/A
Croatia entered the EU later N/A
Cyprus entered the EU later 2008-05-30 2008-11-20 2009-07-02 2010-11-26 N/A
Czech Republic entered the EU later 2008-05-07 2009-02-19 2009-07-23 2011-01-28 N/A
Denmark 2002-04-10 2002-05-08 2008-04-24 2008-06-25 2009-05-26 2011-03-04 N/A
Estonia entered the EU later 2007-10-17 2007-11-22 2008-09-11 2010-08-19 N/A
Finland 2004-01-06 2004-01-06 2007-11-29 2009-03-18 2009-04-07 2011-10-21 N/A
France 2003-06-04 2003-06-04 2009-02-12 2009-07-30 2011-02-10 2012-01-16 N/A
Germany 2002-06-20 2002-10-18 2009-02-19 2009-11-16 2009-08-14 2012-02-24 N/A
Greece 2003-08-27 2003-08-27 2009-02-26 2010-03-04 2010-09-20 2011-03-10 N/A
Hungary entered the EU later 2007-04-23 2008-05-14 2008-10-22 2010-11-16 N/A
Ireland 2002-05-06 2002-05-06 2007-06-11 2009-06-04 2009-06-04 2011-09-29 N/A
Italy 2003-10-30 2004-10-06 2008-01-07 2009-10-13 2010-09-08 2011-01-06 N/A
Latvia entered the EU later 2006-12-19 2008-10-17 2009-11-12 2011-05-30 N/A
Lithuania entered the EU later 2007-05-17 2009-03-04 2009-05-04 2013-06-26 N/A
Luxembourg 2003-07-28 2003-08-01 2007-07-04 2009-06-11 2010-12-22 2011-01-21 N/A
Malta entered the EU later 2008-04-21 2008-12-11 2010-01-07 2010-07-06 N/A
Netherlands 2002-09-09 2004-04-30 2007-12-10 2009-01-29 2009-09-30 2012-02-27 N/A
Poland entered the EU later 2007-04-14 2009-02-06 2010-04-07 2012-01-13 N/A
Portugal 2003-07-14 2003-07-14 2008-07-11 2008-09-23 2009-06-29 2011-03-04 N/A
Romania entered the EU later 2009-01-15 2010-01-08 2012-05-22 N/A
Slovakia entered the EU later 2007-07-20 2008-07-29 2009-03-17 2010-11-11 N/A
Slovenia entered the EU later 2007-01-18 2008-02-07 2009-03-10 2010-12-07 N/A
Spain 2002-10-04 2002-10-04 2007-05-03 2009-03-12 2010-06-15 2010-06-21 N/A
Sweden 2002-06-25 2003-03-27 2007-03-21 2009-03-11 2009-09-14 2011-04-15 N/A
United Kingdom 2002-12-17 2004-09-03 2007-10-16 2010-01-12 2010-04-20 2011-08-11 N/A
European Communities/European Union 2004-02-25 2004-12-21 2009-02-26 2010-03-29 (?)[Note 5] 2013-07-22 (?) [Note 6]
SAA entry into force 2004-04-01 2005-02-01 2009-04-01 2010-05-01 (?)[Note 5] 2013-09-01 (?)
EU membership (SAA lapsed) (?) 2013-07-01 (?) (?) (?) (?) (?)

NotesEdit

(brackets): earliest possible date
N/A: Not applicable.

  1. ^ Montenegro started negotiations in November 2005 while a part of Serbia and Montenegro (SiM). Separate technical negotiations were conducted regarding issues of sub-state organizational competency. A mandate for direct negotiations with Montenegro was established in July 2006. Direct negotiations were initiated on 26 September 2006 and concluded on 1 December 2006.[92]
  2. ^ Serbia started negotiations in November 2005 while part of SiM, with a modified mandate from July 2006.
  3. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 107 out of 193 United Nations member states. The European Union remains divided on its policy towards Kosovo, with five EU member states not recognizing its independence. The EU launched a Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism for Kosovo on 6 November 2002 with the aim of aligning its policy with EU standards. On 10 October 2012 the European Commission found that there were no legal obstacles to Kosovo signing a SAA with the EU, as independence is not required for such an agreement.[95]
  4. ^ There will be no Interim Agreement associated with Kosovo's SAA.[98]
  5. ^ a b Although ratified by all EU member states, the entry into force of Bosnia's SAA has been delayed by the EU since Bosnia has yet to meet the preconditions set by the EU.[100]
  6. ^ Kosovo's SAA would be the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU. As a result, the agreement will be directly between Kosovo and the EU and will not need to be ratified by each member state individually.[96][97][99]

Visa liberalisation processEdit

On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Serbia and the EU entered into force.[101] Serbia received a road map from the EU for visa liberalisation on 7 May 2008[101] and was added to the list of visa exempt nationals on 19 December 2009, allowing their citizens to enter the Schengen Area, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania without a visa when traveling with biometric passports.[102]

Public opinionEdit

Serbian government's Office for EU Integration dataEdit

Date Question Yes No Undecided
December 2003[103] Join EU? 72%  %  %
June 2008[104] Join EU? 67% 12%  %
October 2008[104] Join EU? 65%  %  %
December 2009[104] Join EU? 65%  %  %
June 2010[105][106] Join EU? 65%  %  %
November 2010[107] Join EU? 63%  %  %
December 2010[103][104] Join EU? 57% 18% 20%
May 2011[104] Join EU? 55%  %  %
June 2011[108][109] Join EU? 53% 24% 23%
October 2011[110][111] Join EU? 46% 37%
January 2012[112][113][114] Join EU? 51% 28% 21%

Other sourcesEdit

Date Agency Question Yes No Undecided
2006[115] Gallup Balkan Monitor Join EU? 61%  %  %
October 2008[116] Strategic Marketing Join EU? 61%  %  %
November 2010[117] Gallup Balkan Monitor Join EU? 44%  %  %
March 2012[118] B92/Ipsos Strategic Marketing Join EU? 49% 34% 5%
July 2013[119] Ipsos Strategic Marketing Join EU? 53%  %  %

Key events in Serbia accession to EUEdit

  • 1997: Regional Approach. The EU Council of Ministers establishes political and economic conditionality for the development of bilateral relations.
  • 1999: The EU proposes the new Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) for five countries of Southeastern Europe, including Serbia.
  • 2000 Oct-5: Overthrow of Slobodan Milošević.
  • 2000 Nov: Serbia to benefit from Autonomous Trade Preferences from the EU.
  • 2001: First year of the new CARDS programme specifically designed for the SAP countries.
  • 2001 Jun: Feira European Council states that all the SAP countries are "potential candidates" for EU membership.
  • 2001 Jul: Start of the EU-FRY Consultative Task Force.
  • 2002 Mar: Signature of the Belgrade Agreement on a State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.
  • 2003 Jun: At Thessaloniki Summit, the SAP is confirmed as the EU policy for the Western Balkans. The EU perspective for these countries is confirmed.
  • 2003 Jul: EU Enhanced Permanent Dialogue with Serbia and Montenegro replaces the format of the Consultative Task Force
  • 2004 Jun: Council decision on the European Partnership for Serbia and Montenegro, updated in January 2006.[120]
  • 2004 Oct: Council conclusions open up a process for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
  • 2005 Oct: Negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement are launched.[121]
  • 2006-May-3: SAA negotiations called off due to lack of progress on cooperation with the ICTY.[122]
  • 2006-May-21: Montenegro declares independence.[123]
  • 2006-Jun-15: The Government of Serbia officially recognises Montenegro as an independent state.[124]
  • 2006 Jun: Following the declaration of independence of Montenegro, Serbia becomes the legal successor to the State Union.[125]
  • 2006 Oct: Parliament of Serbia adopts a new Constitution, which is confirmed by referendum.[126]
  • 2007-June-13: SAA negotiations with Serbia resumed, following a clear commitment by the country to achieve full cooperation with the ICTY.[127]
  • 2007-Nov-01: Serbia's SAA is initialed.[128]
  • 2008-Jan-01: Entry into force of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement between Serbia and the EU.[129]
  • 2008-Feb-17: Assembly of Kosovo declares independence.[130]
  • 2008-Feb-18: Council of the EU - Decision on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the European Partnership with Serbia including Kosovo.[131]
  • 2008-Apr-29: Serbia's SAA and Interim Agreement (IA) are signed in Luxembourg.[132]
  • 2008-May-07: Commissioner Barrot hands over the Road Map on Visa Liberalisation, set up with the aim of achieving a visa-free regime for Serbian citizens wishing to travel to Schengen countries.[133]
  • 2008-July-21: War crime indictee Radovan Karadžić is arrested.[134]
  • 2008-Sep-09: SAA and IA ratified by National Assembly of Serbia.
  • 2008-Sep-15: Netherlands freezes SAA and trade part of SAA.[79]
  • 2008-Oct-16: Serbian government unilaterally decided to begin with implementation of trade part of Interim Trade agreement with EU starting 1 January 2009.[79][80]
  • 2009-Jan-01: Serbia implements Interim Trade Agreement with the EU.[79][80]
  • 2009-Nov-30: European Commission decides to put Serbia on White Schengen list.
  • 2009-Dec-07: European Commission decides to implement Interim Trade agreement with Serbia.
  • 2009-Dec-19: Visa-free regime for Serbia is put into force.
  • 2009-Dec-22: Serbia officially applies for membership in the European Union.
  • 2010-Feb-01: Interim agreement entry into force.
  • 2010-Jun-14: European Commission decides to start ratification of SAA.
  • 2010-Oct-25: Council of the EU forwards Serbia's application for EU membership to the European commission.[135]
  • 2010-Nov-24: European Commission presents Legislative questionnaire to applicant; the questionnaire contains 2,483 questions and subquestions.
  • 2011-Jan-19: European Parliament ratifies Serbia's SAA.
  • 2011-Jan-31: Serbia responds to EU questionnaire.
  • 2011-May-26: War fugitive Ratko Mladić arrested in Lazarevo in Northern Serbia.
  • 2011-May-31: Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladić is extradited to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.[136]
  • 2011-July-20: War fugitive Goran Hadžić, the last fugitive indicted by the ICTY, is arrested,[3] signaling the final hurdle to Serbia's candidate status.[137]
  • 2011-July-22: Former Croatian Serbs army chief Goran Hadžić is extradited to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal.[138]
  • 2011-Oct-12: European Commission has recommended that Serbia should be granted an official EU candidate status.
  • 2012-Mar-01: European Council grants Serbia official candidate status for EU membership.
  • 2013-Apr-22: European Commission has recommended that a target date for the beginning of accession negotiations with Serbia should be determined.[139]
  • 2013-Jun-28: European Council endorsed the Council of Ministers recommendation to open accession negotiations with Serbia, and announced that they would commence by January 2014 at the latest.[140]
  • 2013-Sep-01: SAA entered into force.
  • 2013-Sep-03: Tanja Miščević appointed chief negotiator with the EU.[141]
  • 2013-Sep-25: Screening of the acquis started.
  • 2013-Dec-17: Council approves starting negotiations in January 2014.
  • 2013-Dec-20: European Council endorses the start of negotiations.
  • 2014-Jan-21: Membership negotiations started.[10]

Impact of JoiningEdit

Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP
(billion US$)
GDP
per capita (US$)
Languages
Serbia Serbia 7,186,862 88,361 43.7 5,906 Serbian
EU28 507,890,191 4,381,376 17,267 33,998 24
EU28+1 515,077,053
(+1.42%)
4,469,737
(+2.02%)
17,310.7
(+0.25%)
33,019
(−0.12%)
25

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External linksEdit