Cooperation between the National Assembly and the European Parliament

The European Parliament delegation for cooperation with the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was established far back in 1981.  Following the political changes in the region, the initial delegation transformed into the European Parliament delegation for cooperation with the Republics of Former Yugoslavia, and since 1994 it is called the European Parliament Delegation for South-East Europe. 

The meetings between the Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia (the European Integration Committee members) and the Delegation of the European Parliament were formalized in 2004 by introduction of regular annual inter-parliamentary dialogue meetings.  Since 2006 this kind of cooperation between the National Assembly and he European Parliament developed through the cooperation of National Assembly with the European Parliament by arranging annual inter-parliamentary meetings, which where held alternately in Belgrade and Brussels /Strasbourg. Between November 2006 and March 2013 seven meetings were held.  Between November 2006 and March 2013 seven meetings were held: First inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Brussels, 21-22 November 2006; Second inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Belgrade, 24-26 November 2008; Third inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Strasbourg, 16-17 December 2009; Fourth inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Belgrade, 4-5 October 2010; Fifth inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Brussels, 18-19 April 2011; Sixth inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Belgrade on 27 and 28 September 2012 and the Seventh inter-parliamentary meeting was held in Brussels on 18 and 19 March 2013.  After the closure of inter-parliamentary meeting, chairmen of the delegations adopted the Joint statement.  

Cooperation between the National Assembly of Serbia and the European Parliament was raised to a higher institutional level by setting up of the European Union-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) in 2013 when the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European communities and their member states, on one hand, and the Republic of Serbia, on the other hand came into force.

Pursuant to SAA, Article 12, the political dialogue at parliamentary level is carried out in the framework of Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee consisting of Members of the National Assembly and the European Parliament respectively. This joint National Assembly and the European Parliament committee is composed of equal number of members of the National Assembly and the European Parliament, and it meets at least twice a year. Before the end of each meeting and the debate on the issues on the agenda, a Declaration and Recommendations are adopted, which are sent to the Council for Stabilisation and Association, as well as to the official institutions of the Republic of Serbia and the European Union.

Apart from the annual Progress Report on Serbia adopted by the European Commission, the European Parliament adopts the report in the form of a Resolution with a text proposed by the European Parliament Rapporteur for Serbia.  The European Parliament resolutions are not of mandatory nature, but serve as important political guidelines for countries in European integration process and for the EU member states.  There is a common practice that European Parliament rapporteur would visit the Republic of Serbia at least once a year in order to prepare the European Parliament resolution.

© European Parliament

The cooperation with the European Parliament is pursued via informal group “Friends of Serbia”, which was established in 2010, when it gathered over 50 MEPs.  The Chair of the group was Victor Bostinaru (Romania, SD).  In the present European Parliament legislation, 2014-2019, in May 2016, an informal Group Friends of Serbia was established again, with the current Chair Mr. Emilian Pavel (Romania, SD).

The cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the European Parliament is conducted also though the participation of MPs and the staff in the work of the conferences intended for the MPs from the parliaments of the Western Balkans and Turkey which are held several times annually in Brussels, or any other parliament in the region, where the topics of interests for the European integration process are deliberated upon. National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia hosted three Inter-parliamentary conferences on the topics: Visa Liberalisation (May 2009), The Rights of Minorities (November 2014) and Use of  EU IPA funds (September 2016).

As of 2013, the employees of the National Assembly take part in the European parliament fellowship programme.

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