A delegation of EU Member States’ representatives in the Brussels-based Council of the EU Working Party on Enlargement and Countries Negotiating Accession to the EU (COELA), accompanied by the European Commission and the European External Action Service, is arriving tonight for a three-day visit in Belgrade and Novi Sad.
The 27 EU Member State representatives led by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU will be received by President Vucic, Prime Minister Brnabic, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Ambassador Aleksic, Minister for EU Integration Miscevic, Minister of Justice Popovic and Minister for Energy and Mining Djedovic.
The delegation of the Council of the EU will also meet the Speaker of the Parliament, the Parliament’s Committees on EU Integration and Foreign Affairs and civil society representatives from the National Convention of the European Union. They will also visit EU-funded projects.
This visit will allow for exchanges of views and better mutual understanding on key issues of particular relevance for Serbia’s EU path, for example: rule of law including justice reform, media freedom, alignment with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy in particular in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, environmental protection, climate change and energy, and the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.
The Council of the EU decides about the different steps in the EU accession negotiations. COELA mainly deals with:
- preparation of the accession negotiations and EU negotiating positions
- assessment of progress made by the candidate countries in meeting the accession criteria
- relations with the candidate countries within the framework of the Association Agreement
- the financial instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)
The European Commission provides the respective assessments in its annual reports and manages the financial and technical assistance provided by the EU to support Serbia in implementing the democratic and economic reforms necessary for its accession process.
The EU is Serbia’s most important political partner and its largest investor and trade partner. The EU is also the largest provider of financial assistance to Serbia. Since 2007, € 2.91 billion have been earmarked under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) for Serbia for EU accession related reforms and alignment with EU acquis and EU standards, providing funding for well over 1,500 projects across Serbia.
Note: Media representatives are advised that there will be no dedicated accreditation process foreseen via the EU Delegation.