By Gordana Andric
Recently released cable reveals that German diplomats did not think Serbia would become the member of the European club before 2019.
A leaked cable from US embassy in Berlin on December 7, 2009, said German diplomats believed that while Serbian politicians had an impression that EU membership was possible within three or four years, it would in fact “take at least 10 years”.
The cable shows that Serbian politicians knew that Germany did not think the country would become an EU member before 2019.
An official from Germany’s Foreign Ministry, Michael Fluegger, was quoted as telling US diplomats that Chancellor Angela Merkel “had made this point to Serbian President Boris Tadic during his visit to Berlin” in November 2009.
The cable shows that Germany did not support the idea that Serbia should apply for EU membership that year.
After EU foreign ministers unblocked Serbia’s interim trade agreement, which was part of Stabilisation and Association Agreement, SAA, on December 7, 2009, Belgrade submitted an application to join the EU.
The cable, marked as classified, notes that Germany “did not want to see” Serbia applying at the time, as a European Commission report on Serbian membership was expected to be negative.
“Germany thought such an application was premature… Fluegger said that if the EU Commission had to do an ‘avis’ on a Serbian membership application now, the evaluation would have to be negative, given the reforms that Serbia still needed to make,” writes the cable.
Fifteen days later, Serbia’s President officially handed over the application to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
The European Commission will give its opinion on Serbia’s candidacy bid on October 12.