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 bilateral screening for the environment and climate change chapter (Chapter 27) and, at the end of 2016, received an invitation to submit the Negotiating Position to open Chapter 27 for negotiations. Support provided by the Swedish EPA through the project ENVAP2, 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, the 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 first draft was provided to the European Commission for informal consultations in July 2018. The Negotiating Position has thereafter been improved and Serbia submitted their second draft to the European Commission in December 2018. The final negotiating Position for Chapter 27 was approved by the Government of Serbia and submitted to EU in January 2020. The next step will be for the European Commission to decide on an opening of Chapter 27 for negotiations. The Negotiating position for Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change includes 14 supporting documents and has more than 1500 pages in total. Headline/Continuation of support ENVAP3 continues to support the Ministry of Environment 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, Sludge as well as TIMBER, FLEGT, Ship recycling regulation and other legal acts. The project also supports communication of Chapter 27, including development and implementation of the Chapter 27 Communication Strategy. ENVAP3, through cooperation with the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), is supporting improvement of information background in the Negotiating Position and implementation of EU reporting obligations. With the support of ENVAP3, “the SEPA development plan related to implementation of EU reporting obligations” has been developed, which considers more than 140 of EU reporting obligations. Specific activities are targeted to waste sector information and reporting on Industrial Emissions Directive. With Swedish Environmental Protection Agency expert support, SEPA has provided an EEA Report to the EU Registry on Industrial Sites for two years (2017 and 2018) and the Report for the E-PRTR and also LCP integrated data reporting for year 2018 for the first time. ENVAP3 activities are being implemented in close cooperation with other Sida financed Swedish development projects supporting the EU accession process, in particular The Swedish Chemicals Agency regarding chemicals management, implementation of Industrial Emissions Directive, Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR/SKR) project supporting Serbian Municipalities on the road to EU Accession and Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) regarding National Emissions Ceiling directive and the GAINS model.