VIENNA — Belgrade is against a joint EU entry of all Western Balkan countries “as a package,” says Serbia’s chief negotiator in EU talks, Tanja Miščević.
“The only such package possible is one that would include Montenegro besides Serbia,” she said on Friday.
“We can only speak of a package that consists of Serbia and Montenegro,” she underscored, adding that the two are the only Western Balkan nations that are in EU accession talks at the moment.
In a discussion with Austrian businesspeople and legal experts, organised by the Austrian Economic Senate, Miščević said that Serbia intends to complete its accession talks with the EU by 2018, and that the accession should take place in 2020.
The date would be appropriate because 2020 is the year when the next financial period starts, she said.
The issues of Kosovo and Metohija and the judiciary and the rule of law are the most difficult issues in the EU integration process, Miščević said.
Serbia is aware of the fact that the accession talks cannot be completed until the process of normalising the Belgrade-Pristina ties is finished, Miščević said.
However, the EU should not force Serbia to recognise Kosovo-Metohija, because Belgrade will never do that, she stressed.
Miščević said that the EU accession is an absolute priority for the Serbian government and society.
Belgrade would like to open the negotiation chapter on the judiciary and the rule of law even before the official start of the accession talks, she said, voicing hope that negotiations on the chapter will begin before the end of this year.