NCEU Working Groups (WG) will follow, with their Agenda, the main chapters of the future EU membership negotiations. Particular topics on the Working Groups’ Agendas are defined by internal experts and adopted by members of WGs. Working groups consists of at least 20 members, representatives of both state and non-state sector; professional associations, business sector and competent individuals.
WGs will hold 3 rounds of sessions organized during 2008/2009. These sessions present an occasion to hear different views, open qualitative and constructive debate, and adopt concrete and harmonized recommendations thus contributing to reaching a national consensus in Serbia about the integration in the EU.
National Convention on EU 2008/09 consists of Presidency, Program Council, and 8 Working Groups:
- Social Dialogue
- IT Society and Education
- Free Movement of Capital
- Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship
- Regional Cooperation
- Justice, Freedom, and Security
- Environmental Protection
Social Dialogue. Social dialogue is an important aspect for the future involvement of the candidate countries' social partners in the social dialogue activities developed at European (European social dialogue, European employment strategy, cooperation in social inclusion and protection, European Social Fund) and national level. The topic is also acute in Serbia and this choice reflects the importance of the economic hardships in the transition period.
Information Technologies Society and Education. Becoming competitive and improving science and technology as a contribution to economic growth, job creation, quality of life and meeting social challenges, such as poverty, health and environmental degradation, is a major test for the Balkan countries. Western Balkan countries are also invited to implement EU Lisbon strategy goals of creating competitive, knowledge based and dynamic economies even before joining EU.
Free Movement of Capital. Free movement of capital is at the heart of the Single Market, and is one of its 'four freedoms'. It enables integrated, open, competitive and efficient European financial markets and services. Attracting FDI and creating functioning market economy is a challenge Serbia is facing on its way to EU.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Entrepreneurship. The European Charter for Small Enterprises was adopted in 2001. The topics of this WG group will be important in the context of economic development and the capacity to withstand competitive pressure. SMEs present the most dynamic factor of accelerated economic development of many countries in the transition but also a development niche for Serbia.
Agriculture. When the EU enlarged in May 2004 and January 2007, the number of farmers in the EU increased first by 55%, and then by a further 53%. Agriculture is very important for every of candidate countries, and because of very hard competition, agriculture is the largest of the negotiation chapters, and often very difficult..
Regional Cooperation is a pre-condition for the membership of the Western Balkans’ countries. Regional Cooperation is also essential for these countries for their economic development, human resources development, poverty reduction, infrastructure development and represents a multifaceted and complex process of networking on all levels in different areas.
Justice, Freedom and Security. This area covers issues like fundamental rights, EU citizenship, personal mobility, asylum and immigration, visa policy, managing the external frontiers and close cooperation between national police, judicial and customs authorities. In the context of Serbia’s accession to the EU it is one of the areas that demand the most significant reforms in country’s approximation in legal and practical terms
Environmental Protection. The Union's environmental policy, as set out in the EC Treaty, aims to achieve sustainability through inclusion of environment protection in EU sector policies. This is one of the most difficult legislation for candidate countries to be implemented. Most of the European standards in the field of environmental protection are far from being implemented in Serbia and this is the area that proved to be the most troublesome in the accession negotiations of many new member states
Each Working Group will be in session three times a year; there will be 24 sessions in total. Internal expert will attend every session, and Slovak experts in concrete topics will be present at 16 sessions. Our partner organization, the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, will arrange for experts’ arrival from Slovakia. They will present experience of this EU member country, especially in the negotiation process; obstacles, problems, and solutions as contribution to internal debate about reforms in Serbia in particular areas.
Fiftheen WG sessions will be organized in Belgrade, and the rest will be organized in regional centres in co-operation with the Europan Movement in Serbia Local Councils in Novi Pazar, Nis, and Zrenjanin or in neighbouring cities.