EU gives Serbia only the “green light’’. Belgrade surprised?

EU gives Serbia only the “green light’’. Belgrade surprised?


By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade

Which decision could Belgrade expect at the European Union summit on June 28th? This is the issue of the ongoing discussion between the head of the EU Delegation in Serbia Vincent Degert and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic. EU would give the ‘’green light’’ for the start of the accession negotiations with Serbia, Degert said last week. However, the long expected date for the start of the negotiations Belgrade could expect in autumn, Degert specified.

On Sunday, PM Dacic strongly objected to the Ambassador Degert`s explanation. Dacic said that Brussels had promised that it would grant the date for the start of the negotiations after the deal on normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina had been reached and implemented. The deal about the normalization of the relations (Brussels agreement) was initialed by Dacic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci on April 18th.

‘’If the EU decision will be different, Serbia would feel cheated’’, Dacic warned. ‘’Serbia would not accept that easily. If we do not deserve such a decision (the approval of the date for the accession negotiations) after everything we have done, I don`t know when we will get one’’. Dacic stressed that ‘’the negative decision’’ could ‘’seriously jeopardize’’ the implementation of the Bussels agreement.

‘’That green light… We are not traffic officers. We want a positive decision by EU Council’’, Dacic reacted to ambassador Degert`s words.

On Monday Degert said that he understood the expectations of Dacic and Serbian Government. The opening of the negotiations between Serbia and the EU would be very important, Degert rendered. However, he stressed that ‘’a lot of things should be done’’, before the start of the talks.

Degert reiterated that Serbia would get the green light after ‘’all the necessary steps’’ were done. Before getting the date Serbia should fulfill several conditions; creating the negotiating teams has been among them, Degert specified.

It is indicative that the ‘’green light’’ regarding the EU decision on June 28th was mentioned by the first time by Milan Pajevic, the head of the European Integration Office, one institution of the Serbian Government. ‘’On June 28th the European Council will probably authorize the European Commission to take all the necessary steps for the start of the negotiations with Serbia, without defining any precise date’’, Pajevic said recently for ‘’Danas’’daily.

‘’Vecernje novosti’’ daily reported that Brussels had been considering the three solutions regarding the negotiations between EU and Serbia, and that only one among them meant granting the date.

Germany, the most influential EU member state, greeted the Brussels agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. Nevertheless, German officials had repeatedly indicated that they had not been satisfied with the implementation of the agreement. The concrete results of the implementation should be visible, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stressed during his visit to Belgrade on May. Westerwelle had also mentioned the green light to his Serbian hosts.

The key German demand from Serbia is to abolish it`s institutions in Kosovo.