EU accession negotiations & Coalition 27

In 2003, at the Thessaloniki Summit, the European leaders com­mitted to help the integration of the remain­ing Southeast European states into the EU. The promised EU membership is highly conditional – it is only granted if countries meet all economic and political crite­ria, and align their policies with the EU, including the ones on energy, climate and environment.

More than 10 years later, the region still struggles with the very same issues, while the current European Commission explicitly announced that there will be no enlargement before the end of its term in 2019. Together with the internal challenges that the EU is facing, the prospects for a swift admission to the EU are rather small.

Nonetheless, the EU accession remains to be the main driver of reforms in the region and the accession negotiations are ongoing.  All SEE countries have either candidate or potential candidate status granted and different cooperation agreements with the EU, while Serbia and Montenegro are the front-runners and are already actively negotiating certain policy areas.

Moreover, the EU supports the accession process through the Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA), which will provide several billion euros of financial aid to the region by 2020. Additionally, the EU currently finances the functioning of the Energy Community. In times when the EU is developing a strengthened joint energy poli­cy through an Energy Union, a strong and stable partnership with its immediate neighbours is essential. All funds invested in these processes must ensure that the region is on track towards a just transition to a zero carbon future.

CAN Europe follows EU accession negotiations, with particular focus on Serbia. We advocate for a prompt implementation of EU environmental and social standards in Southeast Europe, as well as the ambitious climate and energy targets.


Focus on Serbia

Coalition27Accession negotiations are particularly lively in Serbia, a country that plans to build several new coal power plants right before joining the EU. Hence, we put particular focus on Serbia, strengthening the NGO engagement during the EU accession negotiations, so that EU policies are not watered down in the process.

In doing so, we are part of the Coalition 27, an NGO group that monitors and influences the negotiation concerning environment and climate legislation. The members of the Coalition also include Belgrade Open School, CEKOR, Environment Improvement Centre, GM Optimist, NGO Fractal, WWF Serbia, and Young Researchers of Serbia.




Latest Publications

  • Letter from UN Secretary General urging EU leaders to ramp up climate action

    In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk leaked by the media last week, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres urged EU leaders to adopt a long-term vision for a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 and commit to increasing the EU's 2030 climate target to 55 percent reductions in emissions.
  • Letter to EU ministers on climate and environmental action in development funding

    Ahead of Foreign Affairs Council on 16 May, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, Oxfam EU, ACT Alliance EU, Conservation International and Wetlands International write to EU ministers to highlight how the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) can support developing countries to scale up climate and environmental action and support biodiversity, fostering sustainable development.
See All: Climate & Energy Targets