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The accession of Serbia
Serbia
to the European Union
European Union
is the process of the Republic of Serbia
Serbia
being admitted to the European Union
European Union
as a member state and it is on the current agenda for future enlargement of the EU. On 7 November 2007, Serbia
Serbia
initiated 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 with the tribunal but stipulated that Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
must be in The Hague
The Hague
prior to any official signing.[1] Mladić was subsequently arrested on 26 May 2011 and was extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
to stand trial.[2] On 20 July 2011, Goran Hadžić
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
Serbia
officially applied for European Union
European Union
membership on 22 December 2009,[6] and the European Commission
European Commission
recommended making it an official candidate on 12 October 2011. After the Council's recommendation of 28 February 2012, Serbia
Serbia
received full candidate status on 1 March. On 28 June 2013 the European Council
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
European Council
in Brussels.[10]

Contents

1 Serbian government stance 2 Dispute in the government in 2008 3 European Union
European Union
stance 4 Negotiations 5 Negotiation progress 6 Stabilisation and Association Agreement

6.1 Summary of ratification process

7 Visa liberalisation process 8 Public opinion

8.1 Serbian government's Office for EU Integration data 8.2 Other sources

9 Key events in Serbia
Serbia
accession to EU 10 Impact of Joining 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Serbian government stance[edit]

Novi Sad
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 Vučić
Aleksandar Vučić
said that the negotiations with the European Union
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
Serbia
could become a full member of the European Union
European Union
by the end of the decade".[13] During the visit of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton
Catherine Ashton
to Belgrade he assessed that there is a chance for Serbia
Serbia
to become a full member of the EU by 2025 and reiterated that that is the goal to be reached for the sake of our country and internal reforms, which should be completed by 2023.[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
European Union
will insist on Serbia's recognition of Kosovo before it can join the organisation.[15] Dispute in the government in 2008[edit] Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić
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
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
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[update], support for accession among Serbians was 71 percent.[21] However, that support has rapidly dropped, falling to around 60% in late 2010 and 58% in December 2014.[22][23] European Union
European Union
stance[edit] An earlier obstacle for Serbia's access to the EU was their cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
(ICTY),[24] however this has been overcome since all the indicted, the last of which were Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
and Goran Hadžić, have been extradited to the ICTY. Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
was arrested on 26 May 2011 and Goran Hadžić
Goran Hadžić
on 20 July 2011.[25] The Netherlands
Netherlands
was at first a strong opponent of Serbia's signing and ratification of the SAA. The Dutch government stated that it would not ratify the SAA in until Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
is in ICTY
ICTY
custody. On 15 September 2008, the Netherlands
Netherlands
froze the trade-related part of the SAA with Serbia.[26][27] However, the Netherlands
Netherlands
now actively supports Serbia’s efforts to join the EU and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia
Serbia
was ratified by the Netherlands
Netherlands
in 2012. The Netherlands
Netherlands
also highlight the importance of normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina and carrying out reforms vital for EU membership.[28] During her visit to Serbia
Serbia
the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton stated that Serbia
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
Serbia
has always been a part of Europe and that Serbia
Serbia
is an important political partner of the EU which is proved by the results that have been achieved in the normalisation of the relations with Priština.[29] Serbia
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
Kosovo
status proposal, but Serbia wants EULEX
EULEX
to be first approved by the UN Security Council in accordance with United Nations
United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1244.[30][31] 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
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
Kosovo
is not a pre-condition for Serbian EU accession.[32] Enver Hoxhaj, Kosovo's Minister of Foreign Affairs, has suggested that the EU should approve the accession of Kosovo
Kosovo
and Serbia
Serbia
simultaneously due to concerns that if Serbia
Serbia
was admitted first they could veto Kosovo's membership.[33] The signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement
Stabilisation and Association Agreement
was opposed by the governments of the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Belgium
Belgium
while the Government of Spain
Spain
lobbied on behalf of Serbia.[34] Despite having announced that there will be no enlargement during his term, Jean Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission
European Commission
took a more flexible approach in recent months, stating that the EU should "maintain credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans".[35] Furthermore, his plans regarding future enlargement of the EU mainly focus on Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro, as two states that have made the most significant progress regarding their accession processes. Juncker announced formation of "Strategy for the successful accession of Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro
Montenegro
to the European Union" by the end of 2018, with a perspective of accession to the EU in 2025, for both states.[36] European Commission
European Commission
issued a draft Strategy for EU enlargement at the end of 2017. It provides guidelines for, among others, Serbian accession to the EU. According to the Strategy, Serbia
Serbia
is expected to reach a broad agreement on normalization of relations with Kosovo
Kosovo
by the end of 2019, and complete its negotiations by the end of 2023, allowing it to join the Union by 2025.[37] However, as of February 2018, five EU countries don't recognize Kosovo
Kosovo
as an independent state - Spain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus
Cyprus
and Slovakia.[38] Serbia's government hasn't given yet any official reaction to a warning by Germany
Germany
that it must recognize Kosovo's independence as a condition of joining the European Union.[39] Negotiations[edit]

Tanja Miščević, chief negotiator with the EU

The European Union
European Union
has been considering enlargement in the Balkans since at least the late 1990s.[24] The negotiations became serious after Serbia
Serbia
began the reform process after the fall of the Milošević government in 2000, back then as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
(with Montenegro)[40] when the EU officially declared that the Balkan states are potential candidates for membership, confirmed in 2003.[24] Negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement started in November 2005.[24] On 3 May 2006, the European Union
European Union
suspended SAA talks with Serbia
Serbia
over its failure to arrest Ratko Mladić, stating that Serbia
Serbia
failed to fulfill its commitment to fully co-operate with International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.[24] 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
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
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
European Union
decided to reopen negotiations. On 21 July 2008, Radovan Karadžić
Radovan Karadžić
was arrested. On 26 May 2011 Mladić was arrested. On 8 November 2007, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić
Božidar Đelić
and the European Union
European Union
Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn
Olli Rehn
initialed in Brussels the Stabilisation and Association Agreement
Stabilisation and Association Agreement
between Serbia and the European Union.[41] Olli Rehn
Olli Rehn
said that the EU decision to initial the Stabilisation and Association Agreement
Stabilisation and Association Agreement
with Serbia
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
Netherlands
and Belgium
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.[42] On 14 January 2008 ICTY
ICTY
prosecutor Serge Brammertz
Serge Brammertz
stated that there was no change and Serbia
Serbia
was still not fully cooperating.[43] Following this agreement, the EU planned to grant candidate status to Serbia
Serbia
as early as 2009, contingent on its full cooperation with the Hague tribunal. Serbia
Serbia
officially applied for the EU membership on 22 December 2009.[44] In November 2010, "EU Foreign Ministers agreed to pass Serbia's request for membership to the European Commission".[45] The European Commission sent a legislative questionnaire of around 2,500 questions[46] and Serbia
Serbia
answered it on 31 January 2011. The European Commission
European Commission
(EC) recommended making it an official candidate on 12 October 2011. A deal was reached with Romania
Romania
in late February 2012 over the rights of the 30,000 'Vlachs' in Serbia, removing Romanian objections to candidacy.[47] On 28 February 2012, the Council of the European Union
European Union
issued a candidate status recommendation,[48] and Serbia
Serbia
received a full candidate status on 1 March.[49] 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
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.[50] On 19 April 2013, the governments of Kosovo
Kosovo
and Serbia
Serbia
completed the Brussels Agreement, which was hailed as a major step towards normalising relations,[51] enabling the start of EU entry talks with Serbia.[52] On 22 April 2013, the European Commission
European Commission
recommended the start of EU entry talks with Serbia.[53] 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.[54] Screening of the acquis started on 25 September 2013.[55] In December 2013 the Council of the European Union
European Union
approved opening negotiations on Serbia's accession in January 2014,[9] and the European Council
European Council
endorsed the start of negotiations several days later.[56][57] The first Intergovernmental Conference was held on 21 January at the European Council
European Council
in Brussels. Serbia
Serbia
was represented by Prime Minister Ivica Dačić
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
Greece
Evangelos Venizelos.[10] Serbia
Serbia
is currently receiving EUR 2.9bn of developmental aid until 2020 from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, a funding mechanism for EU candidate countries. Negotiation progress[edit]

Acquis chapter EC assessment at start EC Assessment in 2015[58] EC Assessment in 2016[59] EC Assessment in 2017 Screening started[60] Screening completed[60] Chapter opened Chapter closed

1. Free Movement of Goods Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-06-17 2014-09-12 – –

2. Freedom of Movement For Workers Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-01-23 2014-03-25 – –

3. Right of Establishment & Freedom To Provide Services Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-01-30 2014-03-13 – –

4. Free Movement of Capital Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-10-13 2014-12-15 – –

5. Public Procurement Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-03-21 2014-05-13 2016-12-13 –

6. Company Law No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation – 2014-12-11 2015-02-05 2017-12-11[61] –

7. Intellectual Property Law Further efforts needed Good level of preparation Good level of preparation – 2014-09-24 2014-11-13 2017-06-20[62] –

8. Competition Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-03-31 2014-11-05 – –

9. Financial Services Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2015-01-21 2015-03-17 – –

10. Information Society & Media Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-05-22 2014-07-02 – –

11. Agriculture & Rural Development Considerable efforts needed Early stage Some level of preparation – 2014-03-18 2014-09-16 – –

12. Food Safety, Veterinary & Phytosanitary Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-02-03 2014-10-24 – –

13. Fisheries No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-09-30 2014-11-14 – –

14. Transport Policy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Good level of preparation – 2014-12-16 2015-02-27 – –

15. Energy Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-04-29 2014-06-12 – –

16. Taxation No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-10-14 2015-03-06 – –

17. Economic & Monetary Policy No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-12-02 2015-03-12 – –

18. Statistics No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-05-20 2014-11-26 – –

19. Social Policy & Employment Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-02-10 2014-06-26 – –

20. Enterprise & Industrial Policy No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-04-03 2014-07-02 2017-02-27 –

21. Trans-European Networks Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-04-29 2015-02-27 – –

22. Regional Policy & Coordination of Structural Instruments Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-10-01 2015-01-29 – –

23. Judiciary & Fundamental Rights Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Some level of preparation – 2013-09-25 2013-12-10 2016-07-18 –

24. Justice, Freedom & Security Considerable efforts needed Some level of preparation Some level of preparation – 2013-10-02 2013-12-13 2016-07-18 –

25. Science & Research No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation – 2014-10-06 2014-12-01 2016-12-13 2016-12-13

26. Education & Culture No major difficulties expected Good level of preparation Good level of preparation – 2014-02-20 2014-04-04 2017-02-27 2017-02-27

27. Environment Totally incompatible with acquis Early stage Some level of preparation – 2014-09-15 2014-11-21 – –

28. Consumer & Health Protection Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-12-04 2015-02-04 – –

29. Customs Union No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Good level of preparation – 2014-03-26 2014-06-04 2017-06-20[62] –

30. External Relations No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-07-02 2014-10-09 2017-12-11[63] –

31. Foreign, Security & Defence Policy No major difficulties expected Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2014-07-15 2014-10-10 – –

32. Financial Control Considerable efforts needed Moderately prepared Moderately prepared – 2013-10-17 2013-11-26 2015-12-14 –

33. Financial & Budgetary Provisions No major difficulties expected Early stage Early stage – 2015-01-27 2015-03-24 – –

34. Institutions Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt Nothing to adopt – – – – –

35. Other Issues: Relations with Kosovo* Further efforts needed Moderately prepared Limited Progress – 2014-01-22 2015-03-25 2015-12-14 –

Progress

34 out of 34 34 out of 34 12 out of 34 2 out of 34

  chapter closed   non-acquis chapter - nothing to adopt   generally already applies to the acquis

  well prepared / well advanced   good level of preparation   no major difficulties expected

  moderately prepared   further efforts needed   some level of preparation

  considerable efforts needed   early stage / very hard to adopt   totally incompatible

Stabilisation and Association Agreement[edit]

Central bank of Serbia
Serbia
implemented a mechanism to reach the same monetary policy as the rest of EU countries.

Kosovo's provisional government unilaterally declared independence from Serbia
Serbia
on 17 February 2008. This was followed by most EU countries recognising Kosovo
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
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
Ratko Mladić
must be in The Hague
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
Yugoslavia
to stand trial.[2] On 20 July, Goran Hadžić
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
Serbia
and the EU must discuss the matter of borders and Serbia's territorial integrity.[64] He said that Serbia
Serbia
must by no means sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and referred to the agreement as “Solana's agreement”.[65][66][67] At the same time President Boris Tadić
Boris Tadić
said that the Vienna Convention allows him to sign the agreement and that he will sign it if it is offered.[68] Božidar Đelić, Deputy Prime Minister, had previously been authorised by the Government to sign the agreement and was still willing to do so,[69] which he did on 29 April 2008. The ceremony in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
was attended by President Boris Tadić
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
Stabilisation and Association Agreement
with the European Union
European Union
to the parliament for ratification"[19] and on 9 September 2008 the Parliament of Serbia
Serbia
ratified the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU. The European Commission
European Commission
(EC) subsequently welcomed the ratification of the agreement.[70] On 15 September 2008, the Netherlands
Netherlands
froze the trade related part of a pre-accession deal (SAA) with Serbia.[26] The Dutch government refused to ratify the agreement while Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
was not captured. He was captured in Serbia
Serbia
on 26 May 2011, removing the main obstacle for obtaining candidate status. On 16 October 2008, the Serbian government unilaterally decided to begin implementing the Interim Trade agreement with the EU starting 1 January 2009.[71][72] 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
EU member states
except Lithuania
Lithuania
had ratified Serbia's SAA agreement.[73] 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
United Nations
General Assembly in June 2012 ahead of Dalius Čekuolis, Lithuania's Permanent Representative to the United Nations.[74] The cancellation of a deal by a Lithuanian company to privatise the Serbian brewery Beogradska Industrija Piva has also been suggested as a major impediment to agreement's ratification.[75] 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.[76] 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.”[77] Following a meeting with Lithuania's Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius
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.[75] The Lithuanian Seimas
Seimas
subsequently ratified the SAA on 18 June 2013,[78] and the agreement entered into force on 1 September 2013.[79] Summary of ratification process[edit]

Event Macedonia [80] Croatia
Croatia
[81] Albania
Albania
[82] Montenegro
Montenegro
[83][Note 1] Bosnia and Herzegovina [85] Serbia
Serbia
[86][Note 2] Kosovo* [87][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[89]

SAA initialled 2000-11-24 2001-05-14 2006-02-28 2007-03-15 2007-12-04 2007-11-07 2014-07-25[90]

SAA/IA signature 2001-04-09 2001-10-29 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2008-04-29 2015-10-27[91]

Interim Agreement:

EC ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-06-12 2007-10-15 2008-06-16 2009-12-08 N/A [Note 4]

SAP state ratification 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-10-09 2007-11-14 2008-06-20 2008-09-22 N/A [Note 4]

entry into force 2001-06-01 2002-03-01 2006-12-01 2008-01-01 2008-07-01 2010-02-01 N/A [Note 4]

Deposit of the instrument of ratification:

SAP state 2001-04-27 2002-01-30 2006-11-09 2007-11-13 2009-02-26 2008-09-22 2016-02-26

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 Communities
or European Union
European Union
and Euratom 2004-02-25 2004-12-21 2009-02-26 2010-03-29 2015-04-30 2013-07-22 2016-02-24 [Note 5]

SAA entry into force 2004-04-01 2005-02-01 2009-04-01 2010-05-01 2015-06-01 2013-09-01 2016-04-01[95]

EU membership (SAA lapsed) (?) 2013-07-01 (?) (?) (?) (?) (?)

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

^ Montenegro
Montenegro
started negotiations in November 2005 while a part of Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro
Montenegro
(SiM). Separate technical negotiations were conducted regarding issues of sub-state organizational competency. A mandate for direct negotiations with Montenegro
Montenegro
was established in July 2006. Direct negotiations were initiated on 26 September 2006 and concluded on 1 December 2006.[84] ^ Serbia
Serbia
started negotiations in November 2005 while part of SiM, with a modified mandate from July 2006. ^ Kosovo
Kosovo
is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo
Kosovo
and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo
Kosovo
has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations
United Nations
member states. The European Union
European Union
remains divided on its policy towards Kosovo, with five EU member states
EU member states
not recognizing its independence. The EU launched a Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism
Stabilisation Tracking Mechanism
for Kosovo
Kosovo
on 6 November 2002 with the aim of aligning its policy with EU standards. On 10 October 2012 the European Commission
European Commission
found that there were no legal obstacles to Kosovo
Kosovo
signing a SAA with the EU, as independence is not required for such an agreement.[88] ^ a b c No Interim Agreement associated with Kosovo's SAA was concluded.[92] ^ Kosovo's SAA was the first signed after the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty, which conferred a legal personality to the EU. As a result, unlike previous SAAs Kosovo's is exclusively between it and the EU and Euratom, and the member states are not parties independently.[89][93][94]

Visa liberalisation process[edit] On 1 January 2008 the visa facilitation and readmission agreements between Serbia
Serbia
and the EU entered into force.[96] Serbia
Serbia
received a road map from the EU for visa liberalisation on 7 May 2008[96] 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
Romania
without a visa when traveling with biometric passports.[97] Public opinion[edit] The results of opinion polling vary drastically depending on the question asked. An August 2017 poll recorded that 51.2% were in favour of joing the EU, 36.3% were against and 12.5% undecided. However, the same poll also asked: "if recognising the independence of Kosovo
Kosovo
were a condition of joing the EU, do you think that condition should be accepted?", to which 12.1% answered yes, 70.6% no and 17.3% were undecided.[98] Since the early 2000s support for Joining the EU have declined. Serbian government's Office for EU Integration data[edit]

Date Question Yes No Undecided

September 2002[99] Join EU? 68% 13% 19%

December 2003[99] Join EU? 72% 8% 20%

September 2004[99] Join EU? 71% 12% 17%

September 2005[99] Join EU? 64% 12% 24%

September 2006[99] Join EU? 70% 12% 18%

June 2007[100] Join EU? 69% 15% 15%

June 2008[101] Join EU? 67% 12% 21%

October 2008[101] Join EU? 65% % %

December 2008[102] Join EU? 61% 13% 26%

May 2009[103] Join EU? 61% 17% 22%

December 2009[104] Join EU? 65% 14% 21%

June 2010[105] Join EU? 65% 15% 20%

December 2010[106] Join EU? 57% 18% 25%

May 2011[101] Join EU? 55% 27% 18%

June 2011[107][108] Join EU? 53% 24% 23%

September 2011[109][110] Join EU? 46% 37% 17%

December 2011[111][112] Join EU? 51% 28% 21%

December 2012[113] Join EU? 41% 31% 27%

July 2013[114] Join EU? 50% 24% 26%

December 2013[115] Join EU? 51% 22% 27%

June 2014[116] Join EU? 46% 19% 35%

December 2014[117] Join EU? 44% 25% 31%

June 2015[118] Join EU? 49% 28% 23%

December 2015[119] Join EU? 48% 28% 24%

June 2016[120] Join EU? 41% 24% 35%

December 2016[121] Join EU? 47% 29% 24%

June 2017[122] Join EU? 49% 27% 24%

December 2017[123] Join EU? 52% 24% 24%

Other sources[edit]

Date Agency Question Yes No Undecided

2006[124] Gallup Balkan Monitor Join EU? 61% % %

October 2008[125] Strategic Marketing Join EU? 61% % %

November 2010[126] Gallup Balkan Monitor Join EU? 63% % %

March 2012[127] B92/Ipsos Strategic Marketing Join EU? 49% 34% 5%

July 2013[128] Ipsos Strategic Marketing Join EU? 53% % %

December 2014[129] EU Delegation to Serbia Join EU? 57% 28% 15%

December 2014[130] Eurobarometer Join EU? 58% 26% 16%

August 2017[131] NSPM Join EU? 51.2% 36.3% 12.5%

Key events in Serbia
Serbia
accession to EU[edit]

1998: 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
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
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
Serbia
and Montenegro. 2003 Jun: At Thessaloniki
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
Serbia
and Montenegro replaces the format of the Consultative Task Force 2004 Jun: Council decision on the European Partnership for Serbia
Serbia
and Montenegro, updated in January 2006.[132] 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.[133] 2006-May-3: SAA negotiations called off due to lack of progress on cooperation with the ICTY.[134] 2006-May-21: Montenegro
Montenegro
declares independence.[135] 2006-Jun-15: The Government of Serbia
Serbia
officially recognises Montenegro as an independent state.[136] 2006 Jun: Following the declaration of independence of Montenegro, Serbia
Serbia
becomes the legal successor to the State Union.[137] 2006 Oct: Parliament of Serbia
Serbia
adopts a new Constitution, which is confirmed by referendum.[138] 2007-June-13: SAA negotiations with Serbia
Serbia
resumed, following a clear commitment by the country to achieve full cooperation with the ICTY.[139] 2007-Nov-01: Serbia's SAA is initialed.[140] 2008-Jan-01: Entry into force of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement between Serbia
Serbia
and the EU.[141] 2008-Feb-17: Assembly of Kosovo
Kosovo
declares independence.[142] 2008-Feb-18: Council of the EU - Decision on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the European Partnership with Serbia
Serbia
including Kosovo.[143] 2008-Apr-29: Serbia's SAA and Interim Agreement (IA) are signed in Luxembourg. 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.[144] 2008-July-21: War crime indictee Radovan Karadžić
Radovan Karadžić
is arrested.[145] 2008-Sep-09: SAA and IA ratified by National Assembly of Serbia. 2008-Sep-15: Netherlands
Netherlands
freezes SAA and trade part of SAA.[71] 2008-Oct-16: Serbian government unilaterally decided to begin with implementation of trade part of Interim Trade agreement with EU starting 1 January 2009.[71][72] 2009-Jan-01: Serbia
Serbia
implements Interim Trade Agreement with the EU.[71][72] 2009-Nov-30: European Commission
European Commission
decides to put Serbia
Serbia
on White Schengen list. 2009-Dec-07: European Commission
European Commission
decides to implement Interim Trade agreement with Serbia. 2009-Dec-19: Visa-free regime for Serbia
Serbia
is put into force. 2009-Dec-22: Serbia
Serbia
officially applies for membership in the European Union. 2010-Feb-01: Interim agreement entry into force. 2010-Jun-14: European Commission
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.[146] 2010-Nov-24: European Commission
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
Serbia
responds to EU questionnaire. 2011-May-26: War fugitive Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
arrested in Lazarevo in Northern Serbia. 2011-May-31: Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić
is extradited to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
(ICTY) in The Hague.[147] 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.[148] 2011-July-22: Former Croatian Serbs army chief Goran Hadžić
Goran Hadžić
is extradited to the UN's International Criminal Tribunal.[149] 2011-Oct-12: European Commission
European Commission
has recommended that Serbia
Serbia
should be granted an official EU candidate status. 2012-Mar-01: European Council
European Council
grants Serbia
Serbia
official candidate status for EU membership. 2013-Apr-22: European Commission
European Commission
has recommended that a target date for the beginning of accession negotiations with Serbia
Serbia
should be determined.[150] 2013-Jun-28: European Council
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.[151] 2013-Sep-01: SAA entered into force. 2013-Sep-03: Tanja Miščević appointed chief negotiator with the EU.[152] 2013-Sep-25: Screening of the acquis started. 2013-Dec-17: Council approves starting negotiations in January 2014. 2013-Dec-20: European Council
European Council
endorses the start of negotiations. 2014-Jan-21: Membership negotiations started.[10] 2015-Mar-25: All EU acquis screenings are completed. 2015-Oct-13: EC, EEAS recommend opening of accession chapters for Serbia
Serbia
[153] 2015-Dec-3: EP rapporteur recommends opening chapters by end of 2015. 2015-Dec-14: Two chapters are opened. 2016-Jul-18: Two chapters are opened. 2016-Dec-13: Two chapters are opened and one chapter is closed. 2017-Feb-27: Two chapters are opened and one chapter is closed. 2017-Jun-20: Two chapters are opened.[62] 2017-Dec-11: Two chapters are opened.[154]

Impact of Joining[edit]

Member countries Population Area (km²) GDP (billion US$) GDP per capita (US$) Languages

Serbia 7,186,862 88,361 46.7 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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extradites last major war crimes suspect". Reuters.  ^ " B92
B92
- Info - EC recommends start of accession talks with Serbia". Retrieved 5 September 2017.  ^ "EUROPEAN COUNCIL 27/28 JUNE 2013 CONCLUSIONS" (PDF). Council of the European Union. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.  ^ http://www.seio.gov.rs/news.101.html?newsid=1535 ^ "EC, EEAS recommend opening of accession chapters for Serbia
Serbia
- Home - B92
B92
Mobilni". www.b92.net. Retrieved 5 September 2017.  ^ inbox-online.com. "Srbija otvara dva poglavlja". RTCG - Radio Televizija Crne Gore - Nacionalni javni servis (in me). Retrieved 2017-12-10. CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link)

Further reading[edit]

Radojičić, Mirjana S. (2015). "Evropska unija i Kosovsko pitanje - međunarodno-etička perspektiva". Zbornik radova Filozofskog fakulteta u Prištini. 45 (1): 167–184. doi:10.5937/zrffp45-7157.  Samardžić, Slobodan (2009). Samardžić, Slobodan, ed. "The Kosovo-Metohija problem from the European integrations angle". Serbia in the European Union
European Union
Association Process, Službeni glasnik: 193–238.  Jovanović Nadica; Gardašević Jovana; Vapa-Tankosić Jelena (2015). "Strategija procesa proširenja Evropske unije i društveno-ekonomski efekti integracije Republike Srbije". Poslovna ekonomija. 9 (2): 191–212.  Gajić, Tamara (2015). "Ulazak Srbije u EU, civilno društvo i politička kultura". Politikon. 10: 119–131. 

External links[edit]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia The EU integration Office War crimes, conditionality and EU integration in the Western Balkans, by Vojin Dimitrijević, Florence Hartmann, Dejan Jović, Tija Memišević, edited by Judy Batt, Jelena Obradović, Chaillot Paper No. 116, June 2009, European Union
European Union
Institute for Security Studies

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Enlargement and partners of the European Union

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v t e

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Aceh

v t e

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See also: Treaties of the European Union

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European Union
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