Bozidar Djelic, Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister, is confident that his country will make “the biggest progress” toward European Union membership in the next 13 months. With the issues of Gen. Ratko Mladic and Kosovo still looming large, one must think that Bozidar Djelic is transmitting his reports from his home on Jupiter to think his country is making any progress toward EU membership other than his say so. Apart from the Gen. Ratko Mladic issue, one can only speculate if the EU has a carrot its dangling in front of Serbia to make it agree to Kosovo independence. One must also speculate whether the EU has dangled the carrot to Serbia and Serbia said, “No thanks!”
Maybe a last minute backroom deal between the Serbs and the EU will be made at the last minute. Then again, maybe not.
Serbia hopes for EU membership candidacy in 2008
Source: AP Alert – Defense Date: November 21, 2007 BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia hopes to become a formal candidate next year for membership in the European Union, the deputy prime minister said Wednesday.
“I expect us to make the biggest progress toward Europein the next 13 months, [bigger] than any country in transition has ever made,” Bozidar Djelic said.
Serbia, which faced years of international isolation during the Balkan wars, has remained among the last countries in the region to move toward membership the union. European Union officials initialed a pre-membership deal with Belgrade earlier this month. But EU officials have said that an agreement to make Serbiaa formal candidate hinges on the arrest of Gen. Ratko Mladic and other war crimes fugitives sought by a U.N. court.
Djelic said he expected Serbia to sign a Stabilization and Association Agreement in January, taking a crucial step toward formal candidacy.
The deputy premier added that authorities were doing all they could to capture Mladic and other suspects sought by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Mladic is wanted on genocide charges for allegedly orchestrating the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica, Bosnia. Tribunal officials insist he is hiding in Serbia.