Session of the Working Group of the Convention on the European union for Chapter 1 (Free Movement of Goods)

8 March 2023 – At today’s session of the National Convention on European Union (NCEU) Working Group for Chapter 1 – Free movement of goods, in which representatives of the Ministry of Economy and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce participated, in addition to members of the Working Group, the latest information regarding the state of affairs in this Negotiating Chapter was presented. Furthermore, in a recent decision of the European Commission, consent was given to the prepared strategic documents for the harmonised and non-harmonised area, the adoption of which will fulfil the criteria for opening negotiations in this Chapter.

“In this way, the consultative process that lasted eight years and in which great efforts and expertise were invested was completed. Now we should expect the adoption of the Strategy and Action plan for the harmonised area and the non-harmonised area by the Government of Serbia by June,” Nikola Vitas, Assistant Minister of Economy for Product Quality and Safety pointed out.

During the discussion, key challenges in further developing the quality infrastructure system, harmonising technical regulations in particular sector areas, and the European integration process in Cluster 2 – Internal market were analysed.

“By rounding off the system of quality infrastructure following the legal and institutional framework of the European Union, Serbia will be approaching to the full integration into the EU single market. Further progress in the accession process will be ensured, and that will also bring positive effects for the placement of Serbian products on the EU market. State authorities will be able to carry out the necessary supervision over compliance with technical regulations simply and more efficiently. Finally, consumers will get quality and safe products,” pointed out Dušan Protić, Programme Manager for the Internal Market and Competitiveness in CEP and Coordinator of the NCEU Working Group for Chapter 1.

The joint assessment of the participants at the meeting is that there is a need for further improvement of the level of information and raising the awareness of business entities about the importance of fulfilling the prescribed technical requirements for products and how the quality infrastructure system functions, in order to realise the full effects of economic integration and strengthen the competitiveness of domestic businesspeople and products on the EU market.