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Huttemann: It Takes 10 Years to Join EU

European Movement Germany Secretary General Bernd Huttemann has said that it is impossible for Serbia to complete negotiations with the EU by 2018 and become a full member in 2020, rather that the process takes 10 years at the most. Serbia’s objective is to wrap up the talks by the end of 2018 so that it may join the EU at the start of the next EU budget cycle, and that plan is based on the European Commission’s assessment from 2011, ...

Early Elections in Serbia in March

After the start of membership negotiations with the EU, Serbia will definitely have early parliamentary elections, which will be held on March 16, together with the earlier scheduled local elections in Belgrade. Speculation has been going on in Serbia for a long time now about whether the early parliamentary elections would be held together with the local elections in Belgrade. The holding of early elections became certain on Jan. 26, after it ...

Participation in Europol Improves Security in Serbia

The Serbian police recently established operative cooperation with Europol, which will enable it to more easily obtain information about security risks and perpetrators of crimes, and will bring improved security to the Serbian citizens. The contact point for this cooperation will be the Bureau for international operative police cooperation, which has stated that hard work was necessary for the police to fully harmonize with EU requirements and ...

Negotiations with EU Are a Test for Serbia

Serbia’s EU membership negotiations officially started in Brussels on Jan. 21. That was a high-level protocolary event and a day for positive messages and congratulations. For Serbia’s senior officials, it was also an opportunity to point out that in the beginning they may not have been Brussels’ favorite partners, but that they have achieved results. On the other hand, the documents presented to Serbia at the time, the Negotiation ...

Serbia Lacking in IPA Experts

Serbia can expect slightly larger funds from pre-accession funds (IPA) in the EU’s forthcoming budget cycle, but will have to employ, train and keep experts in order to use those funds. For Western Balkan countries and Turkey, the funds have somewhat increased for the 2014-2020 budget period, to a total of 11.6 billion euros, and the amount each individual country will get will be known more specifically in the first half of 2014. Serbia ...

Lack of Money is Not an Excuse for Poor Health System

The health system is one of the burning problems in Serbia and a great cause for dissatisfaction. For two years in a row, the European Health Consumer Index (EHCI) confirmed how bad the situation is - Serbia's health system is the worst of 34 European countries on the list. Reactions of officials in Serbia ranged from denial to excuses that the country is not wealthy enough. In an interview to EurActiv, the author of the report, Anre Bjornberg, ...

Serbian-Bulgarian Relations in the Light of Serbia's European Integration

It can be expected during Serbia's negotiations about admission into the EU, that Bulgaria presents requests regarding the Bulgarian minority in Serbia, it was stated in the Bulgarians in Serbia Study of Practical Policy, published by the ISAC Fund and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. It was estimated in the report that Bulgarians are one of the best integrated national minorities in Serbia, and that they enjoy the rights and political ...

Start of Talks with EU Overshadowed by Kosovo

The launch of membership negotiations with the EU is the first essentially significant step in Serbia’s EU integration, since reforms and the implementation of laws are to finally come under the spotlight of the process after years dominated by unresolved political issues. However, relations with Pristina will, as a yet unsolved major political problem, continue to affect the course of the talks. Serbia has also gotten a new chapter devoted ...

Insufficient Amendments to Law on Construction

Serbia is soon to get the long-awaited Law on Construction and finally simplify the procedure of obtaining construction permits. However, judging by the comments of participants in the public debate, if the authorities do not significantly improve this draft, the obstacles to construction will continue to discourage investment, which Serbia sorely needs. This problem has been going on for too long and is too much of a strain on the economy to ...

Kosovo Issue Remains Unresolved

Until recently, Kosovo has been a “frozen” conflict, a place for scoring political points by both the authorities and the opposition and seemed like an almost impassable obstacle on the path to the EU. Although the current government has in a relatively short period of time, through a pragmatic approach, managed to move things from a standstill and gain Brussels’ favor for Serbia’s progress toward the EU, most problems remain open, ...

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