Environmental cooperation with Serbia The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Swedish EPA) 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. Followed by a screening process Serbia received an invitation to submit the Negotiating Position to open the environment and climate change chapter (Chapter 27) for negotiations. Support provided by the Swedish EPA through the projects ENVAP1 and 2, 2011-2016, has contributed significantly to the positive outcome of the process. Environment Accession Project 3 (ENVAP3) The project started in September 2016 and was planned to last until August 2020. After a request of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), it has been agreed by Swedish and Serbian Governments to extend the implementation period until April 2022. 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. The activities have focused on support to MEP in coordination of the process of development of the Negotiating Position for Chapter 27. The final negotiating Position for Chapter 27 was approved by the Government of Serbia and submitted to EU in January 2020. The European Commission has thereafter developed a draft EU Common Position which will be submitted to the European Council for further procedures in the autumn 2020. A follow up on the Serbian Chapter 27 Negotiating Position by the Member States, based on the EU Common Position, is expected towards the end of 2020. The Negotiating position for Chapter 27 – Environment and Climate Change - includes 14 supporting documents and has more than 1500 pages in total. MEP is further developing supporting material and clarifying positions to be used in discussions with the Member States before opening Chapter 27 for negotiations and during negotiations itself. Headline/Continuation of support ENVAP3 continues to support MEP in planning for further Negotiating Position improvement, including coordination of Negotiating Group 27 and the work of Sectoral Working Groups. A special attention, for the remaining period of the project implementation will be on the establishment and implementation of the Negotiating Position monitoring and reporting system, that would allow following progress in approximation of the EU requirements and to propose corrective measures if needed. Besides the general process support, Swedish experts are providing directive specific support for approximation of several directives, such as Industrial Emissions, 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 ENVAP3 Communication Approach for 2020 – 2021. ENVAP3, in cooperation with the 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 EPA 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 LCP integrated data reporting for year 2018 for the first time. During 2020, activities are concentrated on support for improving information basis regarding municipal solid waste management. ENVAP3 activities are being implemented in close cooperation with other Sida financed Swedish development projects supporting the EU accession process. For several years ENVAP3 has cooperated with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR/SKR). During 2020, the cooperation intensified with the common project “Implementation of reporting obligations for municipalities in Serbia”. ENVAP3 has adjusted to a new reality from spring 2020 when a lot of the work and activities had to be changed to be carried out online.