A meeting of the EU Committee for the Western Balkans heard that the EU is content with Serbia’s efforts towards regional cooperation.
Reports from Brussels this Friday said that it was stated at the meeting that there could be discussion of Serbia’s candidacy for EU membership in June.
In order for this to happen, a consensus must be reached by the EU Council of Ministers for unfreezing the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia, which follow a positive report from Hague Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz on Serbia’s cooperation with the Tribunal.
This is according to a Beta news agency report, which quotes EU Ministerial Council officials, stressing that top EU diplomats all believe that the issue of Kosovo – which will be further discussed – should be made separate from Serbia’s integration process.
The EU is also content with Serbia’s clear goals and President Boris Tadić’s efforts towards improving relations with neighboring countries, especially his meetings with his Croatian counterpart, aimed towards pragmatically solving all open questions between the two countries and improving bilateral and regional cooperation.
EU officials support the efforts of Tadić and Croatian President Ivo Josipović towards solving internal issues in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the goal of finding a solution for the political stagnation in the country and ensuring Bosnia’s continuation of reforms with the aim joining the EU.
Strengthening regional cooperation, including “pragmatic relations between Belgrade and Priština, without talking about the Kosovo status issue”, were also mentioned as key issues for EU officials in the process of integrating the Western Balkans into the EU, according to the report.
The adoption of the Srebrenica resolution by the Serbian parliament was seen by the committee as a very positive step towards reconciliation and turning the region towards its European future, Beta writes.
European diplomats told the news agency that it is clear that the “latent flashpoints” in the region are the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the fact that the expected decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Kosovo’s unilaterally proclaimed independence would once again shed more light on the so-called “Kosovo syndrome”.
Officials in Brussels did not wish to comment on the importance of a recent statement of ICO chief Pieter Feith, who said that the question of Kosovo’s independence has entered a “critical phase”.
The EU diplomats said that they “do not know what the statement was based on, and in what role Feith made it”, considering that he also holds another office in Priština – that of EU’s special representative.