By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
If the Brussels agreement on normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristine is fully implemented, European Council will probably give signal for the formal start of Serbia-EU accession negotiations at its summit on 20 December. However, this does not mean that the first intergovernmental conference – the start of the talks – will be held on the same day; it will rather be scheduled for January.
This was joint explanation that Bundestag members Peter Beyer (CDU) and Mariluise Beck (Green party) gave to Belgrade “Danas” daily. Earlier this week Beyer and Beck visited Belgrade, having talks with Serbian parliamentarians and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic. German MPs told “Danas” they had no information with regard to alleged intention of Berlin and London accession talks to be delayed for March. On Monday Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said talks may be postponed due to “unofficial intercession” by Germany and United Kingdom.
“These are rumors and speculations. European Council’s decision will largely depend on the outcome of the talks between prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci which are scheduled for Friday. If they reach the agreement on judiciary, Brussels agreement will be fully implemented which is precondition for defining the date of the first EU-Serbia intergovernmental conference. Considering positive signals from both sides, we have reasons for optimism”, Beyer said.
According to Mariluise Beck, launching the accession negotiations in December, rather than in January, which was also subject of rumors, would be “insignificant”. “In that period (December) we are decorating Christmas trees and I do not believe anyone will work in Brussels. Therefore, I do not understand so many talks about the significance of December. Likewise, Bundestag has made its conclusion with regard to Serbian EU-accession in June and there will be no further meetings about this”.
Beyer stressed that signing legally binding agreement between Serbia and Kosovo was not the precondition for the start of accession negotiations. “This agreement should be similar to treaty between FR Germany and former GDR and Serbia should sign it before the accession into EU”, Beyer explained.
Beck emphasized “misperception that Germany wants to prevent Serbia from joining the EU”. “Our insisting on Kosovo issue to be resolved is founded in bad experience we had with Cyprus. In the end of the day, we want both Serbia and Kosovo to join the EU, rather than to be witnesses of their squabbling on sovereignty”.