Serbia and EU should step up efforts to ensure country's accession by 2025 remains feasible

The latest meeting of the EU-Serbia Civil Society Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) took place in Brussels on 12 April. The JCC's members discussed the current state of play and the work ahead in negotiations on Serbia's accession to the EU, and adopted a final declaration. Serbia was recognised as one of the two frontrunner candidates in the Western Balkan region.

The civil society representatives urged the Serbian authorities to continue working to ensure respect for the rule of law, fundamental rights, judicial reform, the fight against corruption and freedom of the press. It was recommended that a working group for social entrepreneurship be set up, bringing together all relevant stakeholders to work on a social entrepreneurship strategy for the country. The final declaration welcomed the new form of structured dialogue between the Serbian government and civil society. However it urged the Serbian authorities to involve all relevant stakeholders more effectively when developing public policies. (sg)