Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy Process of EU integration and regional cooperation
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Chronology of relations between the Republic of Serbia and the European Union
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Cooperation between the Republic of Serbia (SFRY at the time) and the EU (three European Communities) was established in December 1967 by the adoption 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 the SFRY was granted the most-favoured nation treatment and entered into the General System of Preferences. Subsequently, the 1980 Agreement granted the former SFRY preferential status in trade with the EC and financial assistance to the SFRY was also envisaged through finance protocols. In 1990, the SFRY signed the 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 the WB and EU countries was held, where the FRY joined the Stabilization 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 and 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 – aimed at overcoming the obstacles standing in the way of SCG's EU integration);
  • In June 2004, the EU Council of Ministers adopted a decision on the principles, priorities and conditions contained in the document “European partnership with SCG” (including Kosovo and Metohija under UNSC resolution 1244), indicating short- and medium-term priorities for SCG's preparation of further European integration;
  • In December 2004, the European Union adopted the so-called "twin-track approach", according to which Serbia and Montenegro would separately negotiate the part of the Stabilization and Association Agreement related to trade, whereas the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro as a single state would negotiate the political part of the SAA;
  • In April 2005, the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro received positive assessment of its Feasibility Study on the commencement of negotiations with the EU, concerning the conclusion of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA);
  • On 7 November 2005, the negotiations for the signing of the SAA commenced between the EU and SCG. (In May 2006, the EU suspended the negotiations due to the 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 Stabilization 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 Stabilization and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia was initialled in Brussels;
  • On 29 April 2008, the Stabilization 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 decided unilaterally to implement the Interim Trade Agreement. It 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 liberalization for the Western Balkan countries, on the basis of which the visa-free travel regime with the European Union entered into force on 19 December 2009, resulting in the abolition of visas for travel to the 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 (Foreign Affairs Council) decided to initiate the ratification process for the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia. (The European Parliament ratified the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia on 19 January 2011. The ratification process in the EU Member States was completed on 18 June 2013, when the SAA was ratified by Lithuania);
  • On 25 October 2010, the Council of the European Union (Foreign Affairs Council - FAC) requested the European Commission's opinion on Serbia's EU membership 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 Commission recommended that EU accession negotiations with Serbia should begin as soon as Serbia achieved visible progress in the 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, based on the report of the European Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, the Council of the European Union (FAC) would consider the progress made by Serbia in the reform implementation process and in the improvement of its relations with Pristina, in March 2013;
  • On 19 April 2013, Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and the Pristina representative Hashim Thaci signed in Brussels the "First Agreement of Principles Governing the Normalization of Relations", and agreed the Implementation Plan thereof 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, 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 (Foreign Affairs Council) 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 an analytical review of the approximation of the Serbian legislation to the EU legislation;
  • The Council of the European Union decided on 28 June 2013 to open accession negotiations with Serbia and that the first Inter-Governmental Conference be held not later than January 2014.
  • The Stabilization and Association Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and the EU entered into force on 1 September 2013.
  • The Government of the Republic of Serbia, at its meeting of 3 September 2013, appointed Dr. Tanja Miscevic as Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of Serbia to the EU and adopted a decision to create the Negotiating Team to conduct the negotiations;
  • The European Council decided on 20 December 2013 that the accession negotiations with Serbia be opened.
  • The First Intergovernmental Conference took place on 21 January 2014.
  • The Conference on the Western Balkans was held on 28 August 2014, in Berlin, FR Germany.
  • An informal meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Balkan6, organized by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of R. Serbia, was held in Belgrade, on 23 October 2014.