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BRUSSELS, January 17. /ITAR-TASS/. The first inter-governmental conference on Serbia’s accession to the European Union is to be held in Brussels on January 21, a representative of the EU Council press service told Itar-Tass on Thursday, January 16.
There are 35 clauses on the agenda. A candidate state needs to complete talks on all the 35 chapters before a treaty on entrance to the European Union could be signed with it.
It is necessary to check whether Serbian national laws in various spheres (economic and monetary policy, justice, taxation, energy, agriculture, etc) harmonize with the EU legislation. The European Union granted a candidate status to Serbia in March 2012. Normalizing relations with Pristina was one of the key demands set to Serbia by the European Union.
Experts believe that Serbia’s entrance talks with the European Union will take from three to five years.
Serbia made a big step forward on its way to EU membership by signing an information sharing agreement with the European police service or Europol that also provides for joint actions against organized crime. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Europol Director Rob Wainwright signed the document in Belgrade on January 16.
Wainwright praised Serbia for joining a family of European nations that wanted to fight organized crime in a more effective way. From now on, it will take part in the work of a European police service responsible for fighting against organized crime and terrorism in the European Union.
Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said, in turn, that Serbia would send its police officer to the Europol’s headquarters in The Hague to maintain constant communication with European colleagues. The Serbian prime minister noted that the signing of the agreement with Europol was extremely important for Serbia, especially ahead of its entrance talks with the European Union due to start soon.
“Serbia has achieved noticeable results in its anti-organized crime and anti-corruption efforts. It has also made progress in its dialogue with Pristina. Those were two big positive signs for Brussels and the key reason for passing a positive decision on the start of talks with Serbia on entering the European Union,” Dacic emphasized.
Europol coordinates the work of police services in the 28 EU member states. The organization’s main task is to coordinate the efforts of the national services in the EU countries to fight organized crime and improve information exchanges among the national police bodies. Europol considers illegal migration, drugs trafficking, cybercrime and money laundering to be priorities in fighting organized crime in the European Union.