Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Serbia hopes to have made enough progress in meeting requirements to qualify for European Union candidacy this year, said Milica Delevic, the head of the government’s EU integration office.
The European Commission, which meets on Oct. 12 on whether to advance the Balkan nation, may grant candidacy, add benchmarks and attach a deadline for progress before recommending a date for the start of entry talks or grant both candidacy and the date, she said.
“I believe enough has been done to deserve a positive assessment,” Delevic said at a banking conference in Belgrade today. She dismissed the possibility that Serbia will remain without a candidacy.
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic seeks to win candidate status by the end of 2011 before general elections next spring. The government has adopted a series of laws in line with EU standards and stepped up the fight against corruption and organized crime and adopted laws in line with EU standards. It also has handed over 46 men indicted for war crimes during fighting in the 1990s, which accompanied the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, to the international tribunal in The Hague.
Serbia must also come to terms with Kosovo, its former province which declared independence three years ago and where tensions escalated in July with the Pristina authorities slapping a trade ban on goods from Serbia, over its failure to recognize its independence. The EU-sponsored dialogue is deadlocked, following an escalation of tensions this week.
The ongoing problems with Kosovo will also share in the the Commission’s decision, Delevic said.
“The Commission would like to see a continuation in dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and some concrete agreements,” she said. Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule is due to bring news to Belgrade on Oct. 14, she said.
--Editor: Douglas Lytle
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