Serbia Debating When to Apply for EU Candidacy

Serbian officials are discussing when would be the most opportune moment to submit an application for EU candidacy.

Despite the many statements by state officials that Serbia will submit its application by the year’s end, the country’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic now says that such a decision has not been made.

“We will make the decision after careful consultations with all European partners, after consultations between Serbia’s senior officials, but no one can question any longer whether Serbia is moving towards full-fledged EU membership after the unfreezing of the interim trade agreement,” broadcaster B92 quoted him as saying.

EU foreign ministes agreed on Monday to unblock and Interim Trade Agreement with the country.

Vice President Bozidar Djelic has also refused to mention a concrete date.

European Parliament rapporteur Jelko Kacin welcomed the announcement that Serbia will not submit its candidacy for EU membership until it is confident to get a positive answer, daily Danas reports.

“I welcome the statements of Tadic and Djelic that Serbia will submit its candidacy for EU membership when it is secure of a positive response from Brussels. Until a week ago, the steps that were announced by senior Serbian officials were not in accordance with the actual sequence of events, or in consultation with their relevant partners in Brussels,” the daily quoted Kacin as saying.

“Each step at the right time. Yesterday we put into effect the trade part of the agreement with Serbia and subsequent steps will be discussed,” Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt echoed.

Addressing participants in a conference dubbed “Overcoming the Economic Crisis Through Regional Cooperation Leading to EU Membership in the Western Balkans,” Bildt and Enlargement Commission Olli Rehn added that there should be no break in enlargement after Croatia and Iceland become members.

In the meantime, media speculates about which countries are and aren’t in favour of Serbia applying now. According to Blic, Germany and the UK are.

For more info, please visit Balkan Insight’s analysis: Serbia Mulls Right Date to Seek EU Candidacy

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