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"Macron's EU enlargement strategy is accession in seven stages": Here's where Kosovo issue is

Among the new moments in the unofficial document is the grouping of 35 chapters that existed so far into seven gradual packages

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Accession of candidate countries to the EU should soon change drastically on the basis of a proposal made by Paris, which will be presented today to the ministers at the General Affairs Council in Brussels.

Among the new moments in the unofficial document that the daily Vecernje Novosti has seen is the grouping of 35 chapters that existed so far into seven gradual packages.

Thus, membership would be effectively gained gradually, in seven stages, rather than in chapters as has been interpreted in previous days. In particular, Paris proposes that chapters 23 and 24, which relate to the rule of law, should be included in the first group and fulfilled throughout the accession process.

On the other hand, chapter 35, which deals with other issues, in our case Kosovo and Metohija, would enter the last, seventh group and would be resolved shortly before full membership. It was envisaged previously that progress in this chapter would also accompany the entire process. Stage 2 covers chapters 14, 15, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 and concerns education, research, youth, culture, sports, environment, transportation, telecommunications and energy.

As soon as these chapters are opened and closed, candidates could, for example, immediately start using European programs such as Erasmus Plus, Horizon and Life Plus and enjoy concrete benefits even before full membership in the European Research Area and the Trans-European Networks, Vecernje Novosti writes.

In group 3 are chapters 5, 7, 8, 19, 20 and 28 that concern employment, social policy, health, consumer protection and competitiveness.

The fourth stage includes economic and financial affairs with areas 4, 9, 16, 17, 18 and 32, while the fifth stage is about internal market, agriculture and fishing, with chapters 1, 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 29 - which, for example, opens the door to the Customs Union. Phase 6 covers foreign affairs in areas 30 and 31, when we will have to align, for example, our relations with Russia, and phase 7 - chapters 33, 34 and 35.

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