Implementation of this comprehensive agreement will facilitate the gradual alignment of Serbian legislation with all EU legislation and all EU standards, giving a new impetus to Serbian industry in attracting investment. It will provide Serbia with the general framework for a rapprochement with the EU and its preparation for its future participation in the EU internal market. This is therefore an important step on the road to Serbia`s accession to the EU. The agreement with Kosovo was the first to be signed after the Lisbon Treaty came into force, which brought down the EU`s legal personality.   An EU representative in Kosovo stated that “unlike the ASA with other countries in the region, this agreement will be exclusively the EU agreement. The EU will sign them as a legal entity.  The agreement did not have to be ratified individually by each Member State, some of which did not recognize Kosovo`s independence.  The representative added: “Since Kosovo is not recognised by the five Member States, we had to adopt a directive stating that the signing of the agreement will not mean that the EU or any of the countries will recognise Kosovo as a state.”  Stabilization and association agreements are part of the EU stabilisation and association process (PSA) and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). At present, the countries of the Western Balkans are at the heart of the PSA. Specific Stabilization and Association Agreements (ASAs) have been implemented with various Balkan countries, which contain explicit provisions for the country`s future accession to the EU. The SAAs resemble in principle the European agreements signed in the 1990s with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the association agreement with Turkey. Negotiations on the ASA between the European Union and Serbia began in November 2005 and this agreement was signed in April 2008. Before it came into force, it was ratified by Serbia and THE EU Member States.
The European Council`s decision on the conclusion of this agreement was adopted on 22 July 2013 and paved the way for it to enter into force on 1 September 2013. Similar SAAS have been in force since 2004 with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 2005 with Croatia, 2009 with Albania and 2010 with Montenegro. On 7 November, the EU and Serbia signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (ASA). This agreement, which defines the respective rights and obligations of the signatories, provides a framework for the implementation of the reforms that will bring this potential candidate country closer to the EU. By bringing Serbia closer to EU standards in many extremely important areas, such as justice, the rule of law or the environment, the ASA will bring very tangible benefits to the daily lives of Serbian citizens. Since April 2016, the ASA has been in force in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Croatia once had an ASA, but it expired when it joined the EU in 2013.