EU to make decision on interim agreement with Serbia

EU foreign ministers will meet on Monday in Brussels and are expected to make a decision unfreezing the interim trade agreement with Serbia.

The EU ministers will make a decision after holding a meeting with Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, who recently reported to the UN Security Council positively on Serbia’s cooperation with the Tribunal.

However, the Netherlands is asking for continued pressure to be put on Belgrade for completing its obligations to the Hague Tribunal in order for the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between Serbia and the EU to potentially be unfrozen in June 2010, if Brammertz’s report is positive once again at that moment.

A Swedish official of the EU presidency said that the basis for the implementing of the trade part of the agreement is the fact that the European Commission stated in its October report that Serbia has made a lot of progress in implementing European reforms.

Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen met with NATO officials on Friday, stating afterwards that the “positive steps of the Serbian government should be supported, while at the same time continuing to put pressure on the Serbia government to continue its cooperation with the Hague Tribunal.”

Serbia, meanwhile, has been unilaterally implementing the trade deal since the start of the is year. The interim agreement is part of the SAA, signed between Brussels and Belgrade in the spring of 2008, and immediately suspended.

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