Narodna skupština Republike Srbije
THE ROLE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND PARLIAMENTARY DIPLOMACY IN THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
Serbia filed for EU membership after the Stabilization and Association Agreement was confirmed by the European Parliament in 2011, and it was granted candidate status on March 1, 2012. The first intergovernmental conference between Serbia and the EU was held in Brussels on January 21, 2014, marking the beginning of accession negotiations at the political level. The process of negotiations for membership in the European Union implies the participation of a large number of institutions of the European Union and the candidate countries. This paper aims to point out the importance and role of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in the process of European integration, with a special focus on the two most important functions in the context of accession: control and legislative. The second part of the paper discusses the work of the Committee on European Integration and the importance it has in the process of membership negotiations. The last part of the paper will be dedicated to reviewing the cooperation between the National Assembly and the European Parliament, but also the importance and opportunities provided by parliamentary diplomacy with special reference to two initiatives, COSAC and COSAP, which are suitable frameworks for promoting Serbia's interests at European and regional level. The authors are of the opinion that, taking into account the current situation of EU enlargement policy, but also the growing importance of not only the European Parliament but also the parliaments of the member states throughout the accession process, parliamentary diplomacy in the EU integration process opens space for political dialogue and consideration of various issues of importance for the process of European integration of the Republic of Serbia.