Belgrade and Podgorica, 6 June 2022

Learning from regional experiences in the EU integration process

The project organized a four day study trip for government officials from North Macedonia to Serbia and Montenegro and their administration to learn from the experiences and expertise of the host institutions on the effects of the Common Foreign, Security and Defense Policy in the EU accession process.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union aims to preserve peace and strengthen international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The CFSP enables rapid response to unforeseen geopolitical events and developments on the ground by deployment of civilian missions and EU Special Representatives, implementation of stabilization actions as well as multilateral and bilateral non-proliferation and disarmament projects. 

Eleven representatives of the Ministry of Foreig Affairs, the Secretariat for European Affairs and officials from other state institutions met with their counterparts from both countries to discuss lessons learned and best practices in accession negotiations related to Chapter 31, key steps in the process, CFSP policy aspects and instruments, European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) related issues and contributing capacities, arms control and non-proliferation issues, evolving security challenges and important cross-cutting issues.

“These have been quite intensive four days, filled with meetings with many different counterparts and receiving so much first-hand information related to the EU integration process. It is always good to learn from the regional experiences, to replicate their positive examples and avoid making the same mistakes. This has been quite useful knowledge and experience sharing exercise that will help us in developing our priorities and positions when it comes to EU negotiations related to Chapter 31”, said Gordana Naceva Bosheva, Deputy Head of Sector for Supervision, Regulation and International Cooperation, Financial Intelligence Unit in the Ministry of Finance.

The working visit to Serbia included meetings and trainings organized in the Ministry of Foreing Affairs and Ministry of Defence, as well as a Round table with the civil society and Serbian National Convention for the European Union to discuss the importance of the civil oversight and engagement related to the CFSP integration in the local legislation.

The second meeting of the  Chapter 31 negotiation working group during the  visit to Montenegro included discussions and knowledge sharing sessions organized by the  Ministry of Foreing Affairs and the respective Directorate General for European Union and the Directorate General for Multilateral Affairs on the general framework  and the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Accession Negotiations, Chapter 31 and CFSP alignment. In Podgorica, the delegation participated in the Second meeting of the Chapter 31 negotiation working group from the Ministry of European Affairs who provided also practical examples of the ongoing EU accession process in Montenegro.