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Chronology of relations between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union

Сo-operation between Serbia (as a republic of the former SFRY) and the EU (three European Communities) was established in December 1967 by the signing of the Declaration between the SFRY and the European Economic Community (EEC), aimed at defining the framework of future economic relations. It was followed by the signing of two trade agreements, in 1970 and 1973 respectively, whereby Serbia was granted most-favoured nation treatment and entered into the General System of Preferences. Subsequently, the 1980 Agreement granted the former SFRY preferential treatment in the trade with the EC and financial assistance to the SFRY was also envisaged through the signing of financial protocols. In 1990, the SFRY signed a framework agreement PHARE, extending the cooperation to providing financial assistance for social and economic reforms. The relations were stalemated in the 1990s due to the conflicts in the territory of the former SFRY.

  • In November 2000, a "Framework Agreement between the EU and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY)"  was signed, which made possible provision of EU assistance to political and economic reforms;
  • On 24 November 2000, the "Zagreb Summit" of WB and EU countries was held, where the FRY joined the Stabilisation and Association Process, by the decision on initiating the work of the Joint Consultative Group comprising representatives of the EU Commission and the FRY authorities;
  • On 20-21 June 2003, the ЕU-Western Balkans Summit was held in Thessaloniki, which reaffirmed the European future of the Western Balkan countries based on the individual progress of each state;
  • In July 2003, the first meeting of the "Enhanced Permanent Dialogue" was held (as a form of a tripartite approach – Serbia, Montenegro, EU Commission – to overcoming the obstacles standing in the way of SCG's EU integration);
  • In June 2004, the Council of Ministers of the EU adopted a decision on the principles, priorities and conditions of the European partnership with SCG (including KiM based on UNSC resolution 1244), indicating short- and medium-term priorities for SCG's preparation for further European integration;
  • In December 2004, the EU adopts the so-called twin-track approach, according to which Serbia and Montenegro would separately negotiate the part of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement related to trade, whereas the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro would negotiate the political part of the SAA as a single state;
  • In April 2005, the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was positively assessed for its Feasibility Study on the commencement of negotiations with the EU concerning the conclusion of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA);
  • On 7 November 2005, the negotiations оn SAA conclusion commenced between the EU and SCG. (In May 2006, the EU cancelled the negotiations because of lack of cooperation with the ICTY);
  • On 13 June 2007, following the positive assessment of the cooperation with the ICTY, the negotiations on the conclusion of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Union and Serbia were resumed (meanwhile, the State Union of SCG ceased to exist);
  • On 7 November 2007, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia was initialled in Brussels;
  • On 29 April 2008, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia was signed in Luxembourg. (On this occasion, the European Union made the decision not to implement the Interim Trade Agreement (ITA) signed together with the SAA. On 16 October 2008, Serbia made a decision on unilateral implementation of the Interim Trade Agreement. Serbia started to implement the Interim Trade Agreement on 1 January 2009);
  • On 30 November 2009, the Council of the European Union published a document on visa liberalisation for the Western Balkan countries, on the basis of which visa-free regime with the European Union entered into force on 19 December 2009, resulting in abolishing visas for travel to EU member states that are part of the so-called Schengen area;
  • On 7 December 2009, the European Union decided, at its meeting in Brussels, to start the implementation of the Interim Trade Agreement between the EU and Serbia;
  • On 22 December 2009, Serbia applied for European Union membership;
  • On 1 February 2010, the Interim Trade Agreement between the EU and Serbia entered into force;
  • On 14 June 2010, the Council of the European Union brought a decision to initiate the process of ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia. (The European Parliament ratified the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia on 19 January 2011. The ratification process in the member states of the European Union ended on 18 June 2013, when the SAA was ratified by Lithuania);
  • On 25 October 2010, the Council of the European Union asked the European Commission to present its opinion on Serbia's application;
  • On 12 October 2011, the European Commission recommended that Serbia be granted the status of a candidate country for EU membership. (On this occasion, the European Commission recommended that negotiations for accession to the European Union should begin as soon as Serbia achieved visible progress in further normalization of relations with Pristina);
  • On 1 March 2012, the European Council decided to grant Serbia the candidate status for EU membership;
  • On 14 December 2012, the conclusions of the European Council stated that the Council of the European Union, based on the report of the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, would consider the progress Serbia achieved in the reform implementation process and in the improvement of the relations with Pristina, in March 2013;
  • On 19 April 2013, Prime Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic and the representative of Pristina Hashim Thaci signed in Brussels the "First Agreement on Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations", and agreed the Implementation Plan of the Agreement on 22 May 2013;
  • On 22 April 2013, the European Commission recommended to the Council the opening of accession negotiations with the Republic of Serbia;
  • On 21 June 2013, the High Representative Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner for Enlargements Stefan Füle sent a joint letter to the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States, requesting "a clear positive decision" to open negotiations with Serbia on its EU membership;
  • On 25 June 2013, the Council of the European Union unanimously recommended to the European Council to start negotiations with Serbia by January 2014, at the latest, and that the European Commission should draft the negotiating framework and begin with an analytical review of the Serbian legislation harmonisation with the EU legislation;
  • On 28 June 2013, the European Council decided to open accession negotiations with Serbia, and to hold the first Intergovernmental Conference not later than January 2014.
  • The Stabilisation and Association Agreement of the Republic of Serbia to the EU entered into force on 1 September 2013.
  • The Government of the Republic of Serbia appointed Dr. Tanja Miscevic as the chief negotiator of the Republic of Serbia on accession to the European Union and adopted a decision to create a Negotiating Team to conduct the negotiations, at its meeting of 3 September 2013.

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Documents
Article of Ambassador Dusko Lopandic on web portal “European Western Balkans” – „The EU accession process of Serbia“
Serbia 2014 Progress Report
Screening report Serbia – Chapter 24 (Justice, freedom and security)
Screening report Serbia – Chapter 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights)
Conclusions of Donors’ conference for Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Address delivered by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dacic at the International Donors’ Conference in Brussels, 16 July 2014
Address delivered by the President of the Republic of Serbia H.E. Tomislav Nikolic at the International Donors’ Conference in Brussels, 16 July 2014
Screening report Serbia – Chapter 32 (Financial control)
Chronology of relations between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union