Having signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) on 29 April 2008, Serbia entered a contractual relation with the EU and acquired the status of an associated country. Formalising its relationship with the EU, in line with Article 72 of the SAA, Serbia committed to gradually aligning its legislation with EU acquis communautaire and to consistently implementing it.
To facilitate the preparation of the country, particularly of its administration for new challenges and commitments and for meeting the requirements of the SAA, it was necessary to develop a programme such as the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA), which all EU membership candidate countries have. This document defines development and strategic goals, as well as the measures, necessary for their achievement.
With this aim in mind, on 9 October 2008 the Serbian Government adopted the National Programme for Integration of the Republic of Serbia into the European Union (NPI). The Programme was the first comprehensive document which served as the basis for planning all legislative, institutional, and administrative measures in the European integration process in the period from 2008 until 2012. The first coordination mechanism of the Republic of Serbia for monitoring of the Programme implementation was also established.
Upon acquiring the EU candidate status and in anticipation of the opening of accession negotiations, on 28 February 2013, the Serbian Government adopted a new multiannual programme for the adjustment of the national legislation to the EU acquis named National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis – NPAA which replaced the then NPI.
After the onset of membership negotiations and the SAA’s entry into force, on 31 July 2014, the Serbian Government adopted the first NPAA revision. The second programme revision was adopted on 17 November 2016 when the screening report was under preparation, as well as action plans for meeting the opening benchmarks for chapters and preparing negotiating positions. The third NPAA revision was adopted on 1 March 2018 amid intense preparation of documents in the negotiation process, opening and provisional closing of a certain number of negotiation chapters. End-2021 was set as the deadline for the alignment of the domestic legal framework with the EU acquis.
The NBS adopted significant laws and bylaws and thus met all the obligations under its remit planned in this document until 2021.
Starting from the need to adjust the NPAA to the requirements of the new accession methodology, the fourth NPAA revision, for the period from Q3 2022 to 31 December 2025, was adopted on 21 July 2022.
Except for plans for the alignment of the domestic legal framework with EU regulations, the NPAA also contains the measures planned for the establishment or strengthening of institutional structures and administrative capacities relevant for the transposition, implementation, and application of the EU acquis. At the level of negotiation groups which the NBS is chairing or co-chairing or is a member of, it is continuously implementing activities aimed at further improvement of its administrative capacities with the support of IPA projects and through participation of its staff in professional seminars and workshops in the country and abroad.