At the sitting held on 13 February 2019, the European Integration Committee considered the Report on the National programme for adoption of the EU acquis (NPAA), for the third quarter of 2018.
The Report was presented by Assistant Minister of European Integration Ksenija Milenkovic who said that it had been adopted by the Government and was published on the website of the Ministry of European Integration as per standard procedure. She said that the indicators from the national programme base for the third quarter of 2018 unfortunately come up last when compared to the previous quarters with a mere 13% success rate relating to the stipulated obligations as regards adopting laws and by-laws. The total NPAA fulfilment for 2018 is 41% and covers all four quarters, as well as subsequently fulfilled obligations, said Milenkovic. She talked about the continued expansion of administrative capacities which is, it was noted, a state-wide problem, indicating that the current European Integration capacities of the institutions are insufficient both to successfully conduct the NPAA and the EU accession process as a whole. She said that the Ministry is not satisfied with these results and has initiated talks with the representatives of relevant institutions to ascertain the underlying causes and find a way to boost the extend of fulfilment. The meeting with the relevant institutions showed that the institutions themselves had pinpointed the lacking administrative capacities, amendments of the EU acquis and the regulation translation process as the biggest problems, said Milenkovic. She reminded the Committee members that the Ministry is aware of these elements and believes that the institutions should be mindful of the goals and plans which they had set themselves, adding that the Ministry is available to help in any way needed or possible.
The Assistant Minister of European Integration said that the NPAA would not be revised in 2019 because there is no need to do so, the imperative being to focus on its application and on boosting the extend of fulfilment. She went on to add that the report for the fourth quarter of 2018 has entered the adoption process at a Governmental session.
Tanja Miscevic, Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU, reaffirmed the dissatisfaction with the results of the third quarter of 2018, saying that the NPAA follows the negotiation process in real time. She said that this year will be a little slower due to the EP elections, but despite it the legislative process has slowed down, especially for Chapter 24 concerning asylum and migrations, as well as in the spheres of environmental protection and food safety.
Miscevic briefed the Committee on the course of the negotiation process, saying that it was Serbia’s plan to present to the European Commission all the chapters without benchmarks by the end of last year, which it had done by the middle of last year. At present the Office has three prepared negotiating positions for chapters without benchmarks viz. 27, 28 and 3 and has begun a debate on Chapter 11, though we have not been asked to present our position for it, said Miscevic. She reaffirmed that lacking administrative capacities are becoming a serious problem especially in view of the fact that a lot of people had left the state administration and one of the solutions is the recruitment of new staff.
Following a debate the Committee unanimously adopted the Report on the National programme for adoption of the EU acquis (NPAA), for the third quarter of 2018.
The Committee went on to appoint a delegation for and set the date of the visit to the Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds. The visit will take place 19 – 21 March 2019, and the delegation is to comprise Committee members Zvonimir Djokic, Zarko Micin and Aleksandar Seselj.
The Committee also decided that the 15th Conference of the European Integration/Affairs Committees of States Participating in the Stabilisation and Association Process of the South-East Europe (COSAP), to be hosted by the National Assembly’s European Integration Committee will take place on 14 and 15 April 2019 in Belgrade.
The sitting was chaired by Committee Deputy Chairperson Elvira Kovacs, and attended by the following Committee members and deputy members: Zvonimir Djokic, Vesna Markovic, Krsto Janjusevic, Vera Jovanovic, Olivera Pesic, Gordana Comic, Dubravka Filipovski, Dragan Veljkovic, MA Dejan Radenkovic and Dusica Stojkovic.