In 2008, a European Partnership for Serbia was adopted, setting out priorities for the country’s membership application, and in 2009 it formally applied. In 2010, the process to ratify the Stabilisation and Association Agreement began, and in March 2012 Serbia was granted EU candidate status. At the 2013 June European Summit, Serbia was granted opening of the accession negotiations.

In terms of environmental approximation, Serbia has made significant progress in the alignment with the EU acquis. According to the EC Progress Report, Serbia achieved a good level of alignment with the EU’s horizontal environmental legislation, waste and water management; nevertheless, the country faces big challenges in implementing and enforcing the EU environmental and climate acquis. Considerable efforts are required in strengthening the administrative capacities and enhancing cooperation between relevant line ministries. Alignment with EU climate acquis still needs to be improved, while efforts are required on awareness-raising on challenges of climate actions.

Serbia has achieved a certain level of alignment, but the implementation is at a very early stage. The Paris Agreement was ratified in May 2017. A national strategy on climate change, consistent with the EU 2030 framework on climate and energy policies, funded by IPA with analysis carried out by external experts, is in its final stages of development and should be adopted in 2018. A National Climate Change Committee has been established but it should do more to integrate climate action into other sectors.

The main beneficiary institution of RIPAP in Serbia is the Ministry of Environmental Protection.