In this interview, Delevic explains the role of Serbia’s European Integration Office (SEIO) in the country’s European Union ascension process. She describes the conditions in the country prior to the decision to pursue EU membership, clarifying the Serbian and Montenegro relationship at that time. She talks about the necessity to harmonize Serbian and Montenegro interests, and the role of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). She discusses the reorganization of the SEIO in a transparent process. She explains how trade agreements fit into the broader accession process, and how this was conveyed to members of Serbian civil society. She talks about the SEIO’s relationship with the ministries in regard to the National Program for Integration (NPI), and how the SEIO was able to manage the European Commission (EC) questionnaire for ministries. Finally, she reflects on the SEIO’s ability to monitor integration units within the ministries and to publicly publish the ministries’ NPI progress.
Other Key Terms: ascension process, National Program for Integration (NPI), free trade zone, visa-free travel, Stabilization and Association Agreement (SSA), International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Serbian European Integration Office (SEIO)
At the time of this interview, Mr. Delevic was Deputy Secretary General of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She served as former Director of Serbia’s European Integration Office, tasked with helping promote and oversee the country’s European Union ascension process. She received a Bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Belgrade in 1992, a Master’s degree from the Central European University in Budapest in 1996, and obtained her Doctorate in International Relations and Politics from University of Kent in Canterbury in 2003. She served as the Assistant Minister for EU Affairs and Regional Cooperation for Serbia’s Ministry of Affairs from 2007-2008, and was lecturer in Foreign Policy and European Integration at the University of Belgrade. From 2012-2013 she was a Member of Serbia’s Parliament and Chairperson of the government’s European Integration Committee.