EU rule of law assistance relies on supplying institutional ties as well as economic and technical support to candidate states, complemented by a demand to comply with certain political conditions. But, the establishment of the rule of law is a complex and often long-term process that includes both different facilitating and inhibiting conditions. Since 2006 Serbian government has adopted the National Judicial Reform Strategy aiming to establish a legal system based on legal security and respect for the rule of law. Nevertheless, its judiciary sector still reveals serious difficulties, especially in what concerns the independence and efficiency of judiciary.
Looking at Serbian efforts to reform the rule of law and promote an independent judiciary, we analyse how the EU has been influencing these reforms and try to identify the weaknesses and strengths of EU rule of law assistance. Finally, we aim to contribute to know why judicial reforms, introduced by legislation, are not resulting in a truly judicial independence in Serbia, and what are the main obstacles to its effective implementation.