On Thursday, June 27, 2019, Minister for European Affairs George Ciamba chaired the tenth EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference on Accession in Brussels. The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn represented the European Commission in the meeting, while the Serbian party was represented by Jadranka Joksimović, Minister for European Integration.
The event marked the opening of a new negotiation chapter with Serbia for its accession to the EU – Chapter 9 – Financial Services. This achievement, obtained at the end of Romania’s mandate at the Presidency of the EU Council, corresponds to the objective followed and promoted throughout its mandate – generating positive outcomes for candidates, based on their own merits, in order to encourage and motivate future progress in essential reform processes.
This outcome follows the Conclusions adopted by the General Affairs Council on June 18, 2019, under the mandate of the Romanian Presidency, which yet again confirmed the EU’s unequivocal commitment to the European prospects of the Western Balkans, a commitment which has been constantly supported by the actions and events organised by the Romanian Presidency in the past six months.
During the meeting, the Romanian minister delegate welcomed the conclusion of events organised under the mandate of the Romanian Presidency concerning the Western Balkans by means of a EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference, one of the most advanced candidates in this process and Romania’s direct neighbour.
The Romanian official underlined that the opening of a new negotiation chapter with Serbia represents yet another important step in this country’s European path, thus reaching 17 opened chapters out of the total 35, 2 of which have been provisionally closed. As for the steps to follow, the Romanian minister delegate referred to the need to comply with the five requirements established by the joint EU position for closing this chapter in the future.
In this context, the continuation of efforts for the alignment with the acquis was welcomed, reiterating at the same time the importance of attaining a solid balance of progress in all domains in order to reach Serbia’s objective of accelerating the pace of opening/closing new chapters. An essential aspect in this regard will also be the advancement of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue for normalising relations, as talks are expected to be resumed as soon as possible, as well as demonstrating the commitment for progressive alignment with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.