Tilev for MIA: The negotiating framework is difficult to change, the EU's negotiating position on Chapter 35 has changed for Serbia

Dragan Tilev, State Counselor for European Affairs and Coordination in SEP/Photo: MIA

The negotiation framework is extremely difficult to change. A change in the Negotiating Framework has not happened so far. The negotiating frameworks for Serbia and North Macedonia are not the same. In the case of Serbia, it is not a question of changing the Negotiating Framework, but only of the EU's negotiating position for Chapter 35, Dragan Tilev, State Counselor for European Affairs and Coordination at the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEP), told MIA.

- Change of the Negotiating Framework has not happened until now. Namely, in order to change the Negotiating Framework, the procedure needs to be initiated within the EU Council, to receive the consent of all 27 member states, and finally to be adopted by all member states. From here, a change in the Negotiating Framework is possible exclusively by the same path as it was adopted, says Tilev for MIA.

After the EU adopted the amendments to Chapter 35 for Serbia, in the midst of the election campaign, there were conflicting opinions in the public that as the Negotiating Framework has changed for Serbia, so it can change for us.

-Without going into the views of political parties, which are not known to me in detail, exclusively from a professional point of view, I am only commenting on the adoption of the amendment to the EU's Common Position regarding Chapter 35, entitled "Other". Namely, in the case of Serbia, due to the circumstances in which it was at the time of the start of the accession negotiations (January 2014), the development of the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and the progress in the relations and their normalization are located, Tilev assesses.

He clarifies that this Chapter, 35, in the case of Serbia is also subject to the determination of time benchmarks, but also to the corrective clause for imbalance in progress, which corrective measures are included if there is no progress in the dialogue, and perhaps there is progress in others chapters (clusters).

He adds that this applies not only to Chapter 35, but also to Chapters 23 and 24, in the case of Serbia.

– The new amendment adopted by KOREPER as a body of the Council, which supplements the Common Position of the EU, refers only to Chapter 35 and is a separate document, i.e. the Negotiating Framework is not changed, but only the negotiating position of the EU in relation to the Chapter 35. In the Negotiating Framework, there is room for changing the negotiating positions by separate chapters, if there is a change in the circumstances in the given chapter, new legislation, new political moments, etc., as is the case now with Serbia. This applies not only to Chapter 35, but also to all other chapters, Tilev clarifies for MIA.

He clarifies that the negotiating frameworks for Serbia and North Macedonia are not the same, that is, as he points out, they carry with them the peculiarities of the time when they were adopted by the EU Council, for Serbia in 2014, and for North Macedonia in 2022, i.e. after the adoption of the new Methodology.

For illustration, Tilev adds, in our Negotiating Framework there is no Chapter 35, nor Chapter 34.

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