Serbia presses for EU candidate status

Serbian President Boris Tadic told EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday (March 26th) that Belgrade’s goal is to get EU candidate status by the end of this year or in early 2011. He reiterated that his country will continue to co-operate with The Hague war crimes tribunal and will keep working to arrest the two remaining fugitives — Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic.

On Saturday, Tadic met with EU President Herman Van Rompuy on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels, asking Van Rompuy to support the integration of all Western Balkan countries into the bloc.

Other participants at the sidelines Balkans session agreed on Saturday that mutual co-operation and the support of Western Balkans leaders and citizens are essential for the region’s EU integration. They stressed the need for implementing reforms and fighting organised crime and corruption. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, who also took part in the discussions, said this will be a crucial year for the Western Balkans’ EU integration.

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