Merkel postpones Serbia – EU negotiations

Merkel postpones Serbia – EU negotiations


By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade

At the EU summit on June 28th German Chancellor Angela Merkel would take the position that the negotiations between Serbia and European Union should start in 2014 at the earliest, German news agency DPA reported.

Only after the fulfillment of all the obligations envisaged by the Brussels agreement about the normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Pristina, the date for the start of the accession negotiations with Serbia would be granted, sources from the Bundestag told DPA.

The German position was determined by common consent of the CDU/CSU majority in the Bundestag, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Angela Merkel`s Cabinet. The issue of the accession negotiations with Serbia would be discussed at another EU summit until the end of the year.

If Serbia would not fulfill its obligations towards Kosovo, the accession negotiations would be delayed once again, official sources informed German media.

Berlin insists that Serbia and Kosovo sign the agreement on good neighborly relations, Serbian B92 Television learned. By signing such an agreement Serbia would openly recognize Kosovo’s independence, which would be contradicting Serbian Constitution.  According to the Constitution, ‘’Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija” is a part of Serbia.

Numerous times Serbian politicians have been claiming that the date for the start of the negotiations would be determined on June 28th.  The expectations that such a decision would be made have been very high after the Brussels agreement was initialled on April 18th.

Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic still shares these expectations. On Thursday Vucic said that he believed that Serbia would be called for accession negotiations in June. At the EU summit the date for the start of the negotiations would be determined, Vucic added.

‘’I assume that the negotiations will start in October. That would be the good news”, Vucic said for the Serbian ‘’Blic”daily. At the same time, Vucic said that he was concerned that the negotiations could start on January 2014. ‘’This would not be the bad news, but not so good as if the negotiations would start in October”.

‘’The delaying of the negotiations after the January 2014 would be the bad news for Serbia, for all of us. It is not about the politics, the political parties. It concerns the citizens of this country. However, I am convinced that EU doesn`t want to punish either Serbia or our people“, Vucic stressed. He added that, according to the EU officials, the current Serbian Government ‘’did more in the last ten months than the previous one in ten years“.

‘’The implementation of the Brussels agreement is the priority for Germany“, Johanna Daimel of the Munich based Südosteuropa Gesellschaft said on Wednesday. Daimel added that ‘’the problems could be resolved by the permanent pressure on Serbia“. The German position was the consequence of the bad experiences with Serbia, after Belgrade gained the EU candidacy status in 2012, Daimel explained. ‘’For instance, the agreement on Integrated border management (between Belgrade and Pristina) had not been implemented and the freedom of movement was denied“, Daimel specified.