ISSN 2330-717X

WikiLeaks: Serbia Won’t Join EU Before 2019

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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.

Serbia
Serbia

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.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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