Environmental cooperation with Serbia The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has a joint project with Serbia on EU approximation. svenska Share Contact Listen Project support for EU accession negotiations EU and Serbia began the discussion regarding membership in October 2005 and a formal application was made by Serbia in December 2009. Since then EU-approximation is of high priority for Serbia. The formal negotiations regarding Serbia’s membership in the European Union started in January 2014. Serbia has successfully passed the Chapter 27 bilateral screening and, at the end of 2016, received an invitation to submit the Negotiating Position which means that the environment chapter was open for negotiations. Support provided by the Swedish EPA through the ENVAP2 project, 2013-2016, has contributed significantly to the positive outcome of the screening. Environment Accession Project 3 (ENVAP3) The project started in September 2016 and will last until August 31, 2020. The project aims to strengthen the responsible Ministry's ability to manage the EU accession processes on the environment and to effectively prepare for and participate in the upcoming accession negotiations for Chapter 27. The project focuses on three components: Support to negotiations Support regarding communication of negotiation related issues for Chapter 27 Support to Serbian EPA (SEPA) in management of environmental information for Chapter 27 negotiations. From the beginning of the project implementation, activities were focused on support to the Ministry of Environmental Protection in coordination of the process of development of the Negotiating Position for Chapter 27. The support resulted into the first draft Negotiating Position provided to the European Commission for informal consultations in the beginning of July 2018. The Negotiating Position is being improved following comments received from the European Commission (EU COM), and Serbia plan to submit their second draft to the EU COM in December 2018. ENVAP3 continues to support to the Department for EU Integration of the Ministry in planning for further Negotiating Position improvement, including coordination of Negotiating Group 27 and the work of Sectoral Working Groups. Besides the general process support, Swedish experts are providing directive specific support for approximation of several directives, such as Drinking Water, National Emissions Ceiling, EQS, Groundwater, Environmental Noise, TIMBER, FLEGT and Sludge directives as well as Ship recycling regulation and other legal acts. The project also supports communication of Chapter 27, including development of the Chapter 27 Communication Strategy, annual communication plans, Campaign plan, establishment of the Working Group for Communication and is also supporting implementation of the plans. A gap assessment of reporting obligations in the waste sector supported by ENVAP3 will contribute to improve statistics on waste management – one of the most important sub-chapters for negotiations. ENVAP3 activities are being implemented in close cooperation with other Sida financed Swedish development projects supporting the EU accession process, in particular chemicals management and implementation of Industrial Emissions Directive. ENVAP3 has supported meetings in Brussels for technical consultations with the EU COM on two occasions. Making it possible for Serbian experts to ask the EU COM about specific directives and how they can best be implemented.