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Brussels, 9 November 2010

Key findings of the 2010 progress report on Serbia

On 9 November, the Commission adopted its 2010 Enlargement package. It comprised a Strategy paper, the Opinions on the membership applications by Montenegro and Albania and seven Progress Reports on the other candidate countries and potential candidates, including on Serbia. On Serbia, the report highlights the country's progress on its European path. In line with 25 October 2010 Council Conclusions, the Commission has launched the preparatory work for the publication in 2011 of an opinion on Serbia's membership.

Ahead of the adoption of the Report, Commissioner Füle stated: "Serbia's place is in the EU. The door is open, but not unconditional. The momentum for reforms should not be missed. Serbia should redouble its efforts to fully cooperate with ICTY. We look at Serbia as a key country for the reconciliation and positive regional cooperation in the Western Balkans".

Political criteria

Serbia has made progress meeting the political criteria. Judicial reform has continued but there were serious shortcomings in the re-appointment procedure of judges and prosecutors.

Additional efforts are required regarding public administration reform and the fight against organised crime and corruption. Despite the active on-going cooperation of Serbia with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the two remaining ICTY fugitives, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić, are still at large.

The UN General Assembly adopted on 9 September a joint resolution tabled by Serbia and co-sponsored by the EU as a follow up to the International Court of Justice opinion on Kosovo1. The resolution aims at opening the way for a process of dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade to promote cooperation, achieve progress on the path to the European Union and improve the lives of the people.

Economic criteria

In the context of the economic crisis, further progress towards establishing a functioning market economy has been limited. Serbia needs to make more efforts in restructuring its economy so as to cope in the medium-term with the competitive pressures and market forces within the European Union.

The economy picked up in 2010, despite being severely hit by the economic and financial crisis. Strong exports and the adoption of timely and appropriate measures in agreement with the IMF where key in re-establishing macroeconomic stability.

However, Serbia has further postponed the reforms to tackle structural shortcomings. The labour market has continued to deteriorate. Privatisation of the socially-owned companies has back-paddled following repeal of numerous sale contracts. Privatisation of the state-owned companies has been further delayed. The business environment continues to be constrained by the burdensome administrative procedures and the weak rule of law. Furthermore, deficiencies in competition and infrastructure bottlenecks remain barriers to doing business.

EU Legislation

Serbia has further progressed towards aligning its legislation to European standards. Serbia has also continued to implement the Interim Agreement provisions and made further progress towards complying with the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) requirements in a number of areas including agriculture, science and research, and statistics. Significant progress was achieved on the fight against organised crime with good results in high-profile investigations against organised crime groups.

However, further efforts are necessary to bring the legislation and the policies in line with European standards. Implementation and enforcement of the adopted EU-related legislation need to be ensured.


April 2008: Signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA)

December 2009: Entry into force of the Visa liberalisation with Serbia.

December 2009: Serbia submits its application for EU membership

February 2010: The Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade-related issues between Serbia and the EU (part of the SAA) enters into force

June 2010: Council decides to start the ratification process of the SAA

October 2010: Council requests Commission Opinion on Serbia's membership application

More information at:

EU Delegation in Belgrade:

1 :

Under UNSCR 1244/1999

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