To aid the Western Balkans overcome the repercussions of the global economic crisis of 2009 and meet the economic criteria for membership, the European Commission proposed a new approach to the process in the enlargement strategy for 2014-2015. Namely, inspired by the coordination of economic and fiscal policies by EU member states and the European Commission (EC) under the framework of European Semester, the EC proposed the new approach as it transpired that coordinated management of economic and fiscal policies strengthened the EU economies.
To prepare for the process, Serbia, as a candidate country started formulating a document named Economic Reform Programme (ERP). The ERP outlines the medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework, as well as specific structural reforms which directly support macro-fiscal policy frame, eliminate barriers to growth, and enhance national economy’s competitiveness. Since the ERP is a rolling programme and it is drafted every year, it retains the continuity of priorities to a certain extent. Selected priority structural reforms are consistent with those already defined in national strategic documents, national and regional strategies, key documents prepared by Serbia in the EU accession process, and recommendations of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN Council). Namely, the ERP is discussed with the representatives of EU member states under the economic dialogue with EU member states, European Commission and the European Central Bank in the ECOFIN Council meeting after which recommendations for participants in the process (the Western Balkans and Turkey) are adopted.