State Secretary Gašper Dovžan, on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, led the thirteenth meeting of the Accession Conference with Serbia at ministerial level today in Brussels. “Bringing enlargement forward has been one of the main priorities of the Slovenian Presidency,” the State Secretary stressed.
Council approval of the revised enlargement methodology has resulted in the opening of Cluster Four, ‘Green agenda and sustainable connectivity’. This cluster is comprised of four negotiating chapters: chapter 14 on transport policy, chapter 15 on energy, chapter 21 on trans-European networks and chapter 27 on environment and climate change.
“We are particularly pleased to see the practical implementation of the revised enlargement methodology with the first ever opening of a negotiating cluster. This brings more dynamism to the accession negotiations with the simultaneous opening of four negotiating chapters,” said State Secretary Dovžan.
The revised enlargement methodology aims to reinvigorate the accession process and includes: a stronger focus on fundamental reforms; a stronger political steer; increased dynamism; and a more predictable process, based on objective criteria and rigorous positive and negative conditionality. Besides strengthening the dialogue between the member states and Serbia, the meeting also focused on the efforts on key reforms that would allow for further progress in the accession process.
The advancement of the negotiations will continue to be guided by Serbia’s progress in preparing for accession, as established in the Negotiation Framework. Progress on the rule of law and fundamental rights chapters, as well as on the normalisation of Serbia’s relations with Kosovo, continues to be essential and will determine the pace of the accession negotiations overall.