Serbia – along with 5 other Western Balkans countries – was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in 2003. In 2008, a European partnership for Serbia was adopted, setting out priorities for the country's membership application, and in 2009 Serbia formally applied. In March 2012 Serbia was granted EU candidate status. In September 2013 a Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Serbia entered into force.
In line with the decision of the European Council in June 2013 to open accession negotiations with Serbia, the Council adopted in December 2013 the negotiating framework and agreed to hold the 1st Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia in January 2014.
On 21 January 2014, the 1st Intergovernmental Conference took place, signaling the formal start of Serbia's accession negotiations. So far, 22 out of 35 chapters have been opened (including all chapters under cluster 1 on the fundamentals of the process and cluster 4 on Green agenda and sustainable connectivity), two of which are provisionally closed.
More information on the country's relations with the EU
Factsheets and Factographs available to download:
- By December 202122 out of 35 chapters have been opened (including all chapters under cluster 1 on the fundamentals of the process and cluster 4 on Green agenda
and sustainable connectivity), two of which are provisionally closed.
- December 2021Opening of cluster 4 on Green agenda and sustainable connectivity
Opening of cluster 4 on Green agenda and sustainable connectivity (comprising of 4 negotiating chapters: chapter 14 - Transport policy, chapter 15 - Energy, chapter 21 - Trans-European networks, and chapter 27 - Environment and climate change)
- June 2021The first political Intergovernmental Conference under the revised enlargement methodology is held to provide political steer to the accession process
- October 2020Commission adopts an Economic & Investment Plan to support and bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU.
- February 2020Revised methodology
Revised methodology, presented by the Commission, to drive forward the enlargement process with a stronger political steer and in a more credible, predictable, dynamic way.
- 10-12-2019Opening of Chapter 4 - Free movement of capital.
- 27-06-2019Opening of Chapter 9 - Financial services.
- 10-12-2018Opening of Chapters 17, Economic and monetary policy, and 18, Statistics.
- 25-06-2018Opening of Chapters 13, Fisheries, and 33, Financial and budgetary provisions.
- February 2018The European Commission adopts its strategy for ‘A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'.
- 11-12-2017Opening of Chapters 6, Company law, and 30, External relations.
- 20-06-2017Opening of Chapters 7, Intellectual property law, and 29, Customs Union.
- 27-02-2017Opening of Chapters 20, Enterprise and industrial policy, and 26, Education and culture.
Chapter 26, Education and culture, provisionally closed.
- 13-12-2016Opening of Chapters 5, Public procurement, and 25, Science and Research.
Chapter 25, Science and Research, provisionally closed.
- 18-07-2016Opening of Chapters 23 "Judiciary and fundamental rights" and 24 "Justice, freedom and security".
- 14-12-2015Opening of Chapters 32 "financial control" and 35 "other issues - Item 1: Normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo*".
- 21-01-20141st EU-Serbia Intergovernmental Conference held.
- 17-12-2013Council adopted the negotiating framework with Serbia and agreed to hold the 1st Intergovernmental Conference with Serbia in January 2014.
- 01-09-2013Entry into force of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
- 28-06-2013European Council endorsed the Commission's recommendation to open negotiations with Serbia.
- 01-03-2012European Council confirms Serbia as a candidate country.
- 14-10-2011European Commission delivers its Opinion on Serbia's EU membership application, granting candidate status based on one key priority.
- 31-01-2011Serbia replies to Commission questionnaire.
- 14-06-2010EU members decide to start SAA ratification process.
- 22-12-2009Serbia applies for EU membership.
- 19-12-2009Visa requirement lifted for Serbs travelling to Schengen countries.
- 29-04-2008Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and Interim agreement on trade and trade-related issues are signed in Luxembourg.
- 18-02-2008Council adopts revised European partnership for Serbia.
- 01-01-2008Agreements on visa facilitation and readmission enter into force.
- 07-11-2007SAA with Serbia is initialled.
- 13-06-2007SAA negotiations resume, after Serbia commits to cooperating fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
- 03-05-2006SAA negotiations called off, because Serbia's co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has not improved.
- 01-10-2005Negotiations launched for Stabilisation and Association Agreement.