On February 6, Varhelyi held talks in Belgrade with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who voiced support for a new proposed methodology aimed at making the EU membership process more credible, predictable, and politically inclusive.
If approved by EU member states, the new methodology would automatically apply to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and North Macedonia.
Serbia and Montenegro, which have already started accession talks with Brussels, would be able to choose between the current approach and the new one.
“My sympathies are with the new methodology,” Vucic said on February 6 after talks with Varhelyi.
He said Serbia could benefit from the proposed plan, which would give member states a stronger role in accession talks and calls for more incentives for well-performing aspirant states.
However, backsliding or delays on required reforms could lead to a pause or reversal of the accession process, or even force EU hopefuls to restart entry talks in some policy areas.
Serbia would review the proposed reforms carefully before making a final decision, Vucic told a joint news conference with Varhelyi.
Varhelyi, who took office in December, said that EU enlargement in the Balkans was his “greatest priority.”
“At the end of my term, I would like at least one country from the region ready for accession,” the Hungarian diplomat said.