The European Union has decided to open another chapter in its membership negotiations with Serbia on Dec. 10 -- one dealing with the free flow of capital, which is significant to building economic ties and European investment in the Serbian economy.
BETA learned this on Dec. 8 from EU Council of Ministers officials in Brussels, who said the decision to open a new chapter in talks with Serbia was agreed at a session of the committee of ambassadors from permanent representatives to the EU and the enlargement working group.
The chapter on the free flow of capital will be opened at an EU-Serbia inter-governmental conference, on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministerial session in Brussels.
Serbian government officials said that they were unhappy that just one chapter would be opened, stressing that Serbia was ready to open several more.
Sources in Brussels believe that, at this time, an agreement on opening multiple chapters was unlikely in light of the fact that EU bodies are facing a fundamental discussion of proposals to change the "methodology" of the enlargement process, with a view to making it much more efficient and tangible for citizens in the region, in particular at the request of France and several other EU members.