Center for Euro- Atlantic Studies (CEAS) from Belgrade represent its new report “Between reporting and reality” which analyzes Chapter 31 in the framework of pre-accession negotiations for membership in the European Union (EU), cooperation of the Republic of Serbia (RS) with NATO and the importance of that cooperation for the foreign policy of Serbia and its European integration.

The new methodology was officially adopted in 2021 and Chapter 31 is now within the cluster 6- external relations. Serbia's foreign policy has always been a challenge for decision makers. We believe that due to the specific circumstances and challenges that Serbia faces, unlike, for example, other EU member states that have become full members in recent years, such as Croatia or Romania and Bulgaria, it should still be viewed in a different way, and thus adjusted reporting.

CEAS estimates that Chapter 31 is a separate chapter that should not be observed and evaluated with Chapter 35, but we also believe that progress would be made faster within this chapter if the problem of Kosovo and Metohija were resolved and a comprehensive agreement on normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

CEAS believes that Serbia should continue to deepen cooperation with NATO in areas of great importance to Serbia, such as interoperability, emergency response and further modernization of the armed forces. RS needs to agree as soon as possible on a new form of co-operation, the Individualized Partnership Program (ITPP), which would continue to address necessary reforms in the areas of security, rule of law and strengthening democratic values, and help Serbia move forward in European integration. The trend of improved cooperation with the United States should be continued, maintained and improved in the coming period.

Belgrade, July 2021

202107 CEAS Izvestaj EN