The Legal Support for Negotiations (PLAC II) project, which is assisting Serbia to harmonise legislation with the EU acquis, was presented on 25 November 2016. The EU funded project covers areas in which Serbia does not have sufficient bilateral assistance by Member States or the EU. It aims to improve the compatibility of national legislation with the EU acquis and support its enforcement, and enhance the capacity of institutions to conduct negotiations.
Ksenija Milenkovic, the Acting Director of the European Integration Office, said that the project supports the fundamental activities in European integration – the adoption and implementation of EU regulations. She reminded the participants that the Second Revised National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis had been adopted on 17 November, and that the document stipulates that all regulations need to be harmonized with the EU acquis by the end of 2018, noting that this goal should not be confused with a possible date of the accession to the EU.
According to the Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Oskar Benedikt, the period in which the project is implemented is crucial, with four chapters already opened and accelerating the process is expected. He added that the Project might not be “visible” to the general public, but it is essential for the “machinery” which operates the country’s EU accession.
The Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union Tanja Miščević said that flexibility is the key feature of this project, as it allows obtaining assistance for the preparation of regulations and documents quickly.
The Project Team Leader Mojca Grošelj said that the project name was changed to Legal Support for Negotiations so that it can reflect the substance of the project and its main activity. She stated that the project will primarily deal with the following chapters: 3 – Right of establishment and freedom to provide services, 4 – Free movement of capital, 6 – Company law, 9 – Financial services, 11 – Agriculture and rural development, 12 – Food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, 15 – Energy, 24 – Justice, freedom and security, 27 – Environment and climate changes and 28 – Consumer and health protection. It will be possible to include other areas in the Project activities.
This is the second PLAC project since the opening of accession negotiations with the EU, as well as the second one financed from the IPA funds. The project will last from 30 June 2016 until the end of 2018 and 2.6 million EUR have been allocated primarily for the working hours of experts who will assist Serbia in the alignment of regulations with the EU, preparation of plans for achieving compliance, but also in building capacities for development and implementation of legislation.