Working groups for Chapters 28, 8 and 3 of the National Convention on the European Union held a joint session

23 November 2023 – The joint session of the working groups of the National Convention on the EU (NCEU) for Chapters 28 (Consumer and health protection), 3 (Right of establishment and freedom to provide services) and 8 (Competition policy) coordinated by CEP, was held in the premises of the NCEU.

At the beginning of the session, working group coordinators Dušan Protić (coordinator of Cluster 2 and WG 3), Ranka Miljenović (WG 8) and Nebojša Lazarević (WG 28) welcomed attendees.

The meeting was organised to consider the current state of the negotiation process in Cluster 2 and Chapters 3, 8 and 28, with special reference to the evaluations from the EC Report for 2023. It was concluded that the EC’s assessment of moderate progress represents a weak assessment, since Serbia needs rapid and significant progress to adapt to the changes in the EU and compensate for several years of slow progress in the accession process.

The representative of the Ministry of Domestic and Foreign Trade, Marijana Marković, presented the current situation in all three chapters and highlighted the challenges and steps they are taking to open negotiations with the support of experts from the IPA 2021 project. This project includes seven components: consumer protection, competition, state aid, services, market surveillance, e-commerce and intellectual property.

At the end of the session, it was concluded that 2024 could be a favourable year for the opening of Chapters 3 and 28, given the expected adoption of the Law on services and the possibility of establishing a Single Electronic Contact Point. The planned adoption of the Amendments to the Law on Consumer Protection (which transposes three directives, including the collective action directive) during the second quarter of 2024 will significantly contribute to resolving consumer disputes with large companies that systematically violate consumer rights.