Verhagen: Serbian efforts significant

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said that the Serbian government has made significant efforts over the last year in its European integration.

“We are now waiting for the new report from (Hague Chief Prosecutor) Serge Brammertz to the UN Security Council in early December, to check if the Serbian government is doing everything it can in cooperation with the Tribunal, including its efforts to arrested the remaining two indictees, Ratko Mladić and Goran Hadžić,” Verhagen said.

“The Dutch government is very strict, but it is fair as far as the question of EU enlargement is concerned. If a potential candidate state is making efforts and if the results of these efforts are obvious, we should recognize that, as we have done before,” Verhagen said.

He reminded that the Dutch government has already suggested to the European Commission and EU Presidency to approve the abolishment of visas needed for Serbian citizens to travel freely, and that the EU should take measures for the relaxation of the export of Serbian products to the EU.

He also explained that the two main coalition partners in the Dutch parliament, the Democratic Christian and Social Democratic parties, have a united stance on allowing him to revise his stance on Serbia based on Brammertz’s report.

“However, at the same time, there is widespread agreement in Holland and in other EU member-states that Serbia applying for candidacy would be too soon now, because the prerequisite of having the Stabilization and Association Agreement ratified in all EU countries has still not been met,” Verhagen said.

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