Serbia as the frontrunner in the region - Leadership is action, not position

19 December 2018

The European Policy Centre recently held a Policy Briefing with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Ana Brnabić.

Serbia's application for EU membership was submitted nine years ago, on 19 December 2009. Since then, the country has made steady progress in a number of reform areas and has been rewarded with frontrunner status. The European Commission’s 2018 country report recognised that Serbia remains constructively committed to EU accession and is an active participant in regional cooperation. However, challenges remain, not least in the ongoing dialogue for the normalisation of relations with Kosovo. Serbia’s foreign policy priorities continue to diverge from those of the EU, and further progress is required in areas such as the fight against corruption and organised crime.

This Briefing sought to examine the following questions: What have been Serbia’s most important achievements in 2018, and how does it intend to build on these for the future? What are the prospects for a final comprehensive agreement between Belgrade and Pristina? And what will Serbia do to maintain its place at the front of the applicants’ queue and in the run-up to the European Commission’s indicative 2025 date for the next enlargement?