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Serbia’s EU accession negotiations on Chapter 32

Three years of negotiations out of the public eye

Serbia started off accession negotiation talks with the EU on the Chapter 32 – Financial control in 2015, but after more than three years it is difficult to assess the country’s progress since there is hardly any public communication on developments in this chapter.

Initial expectation was that the country will swiftly deal with the requirements of this chapter due to good starting point, as assessed by the European Commission. However, the lack of transparency about the state of play suggests that Serbia could be struggling to achieve palpable progress in application of financial control policies and procedures that delve into the very essence of how the administration operates and how it spends the taxpayers’ money. Such lack of transparency could easily undermine public support for the EU accession process but also prevent the public form holding the government to account for results in this process. In this policy brief, author sheds a light upon the possible reasons for the lack of transparency in the accession talks on the Chapter 32, with proposals on how to swiftly improve public informing thus allow more public scrutiny and ultimately better results in the accession negotiations.

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