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Chapters 20 and 26 opened at the Fifth Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels

27. February 2017. | Brussels

Decision on the opening of Negotiation Chapters 20 and 26 has been adopted today at the Fifth Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels. The negotiating positions of Serbia for Chapter 20 − Enterprise and industrial policy and Chapter 26 − Education and culture were presented at the Conference. The Serbian Delegation was headed by Jadranka Joksimović, Minister in charge of European integration. Louis Grech, deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Malta and Minister of European affairs, represented the Council of the European Union, while Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, was present on behalf of the European Commission.

Chapter 20 refers to the field of entrepreneurship and industrial policy, and is one of the easier chapters because it does not require the adoption of action plans, transposition of regulations into the national legislation or special elements of public administration capacity building. No Member State which finalised its negotiations had ever requested transitional periods or special arrangements within this chapter.

Chapter 26 − Education and culture is also considered an easy chapter because the European Union has largely left the regulation of these fields to the Member States. There is no need for the alignment of the national legislation with the EU acquis in the field of education and culture, since a single approach to these fields does not exist within the European Union. The duration of primary and secondary education differs from one Member State to another, as well as the school starting age. With regard to higher education, the EU requires that the autonomy of universities be respected. The EU does not act as an arbitrator but rather as a coordinator tasked to facilitate standardisation and interuniversity cooperation and exchange, and to create a framework and conditions in culture for as many different programmes as possible.