Kosovo Still Key To Serbia’s Progress, EU Says


By Marija Ristic

The EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Fule, said he cannot give an exact date when Serbia will be able to open EU membership talks, as he doesn’t have a crystal ball.

Speaking after a meeting with Serbia’s minister for EU integration, Suzana Grubjesic, he warned that Serbia had made only limited progress in the past year.

Kosovo - Serbia Relations
Kosovo – Serbia Relations

Progress with Kosovo and on internal reforms remained the key conditions for obtaining a start date for negotiations, he added.

“Improving the relationship with Kosovo remains crucial condition for Serbia’s EU path,” Fule noted, referring to the former province that declared independence in 2008.

He also stressed that Serbia needs to continue law reforms and adjust its legislation to comply with European standards.

“Serbia will fulfill all the conditions required for joining the EU. We will also respect all agreements reached in the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina,” Grubjesic responded.

She said that Serbia was ready to achieve a permanent solution to the Kosovo issue through dialogue with Kosovo Albanian representatives.

Commenting on Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic’s statement that he will not let the European Union give lessons to Serbia, Fule said that the EU did not require permission from the authorities in Belgrade to continue giving advice on Kosovo.

Balkan Insight previously reported that the European Commission’s latest opinion of Serbia’s progress will not be as positive as the one in 2011 – so Serbia is unlikely to get a start date for membership talks this October.

Following the release of a positive opinion, or “avis”, in October 2011, the European Council postponed a decision on Serbia’s candidacy for March 2012, citing lack of progress in normalisation of ties with Kosovo.

Serbia then obtained official EU candidate status in March 2012. But obtaining a start date for negotiations is bigger step, requiring consistent implementation of reforms and control of their implementation.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly 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.

One thought on “Kosovo Still Key To Serbia’s Progress, EU Says

  • September 3, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Stefan Fule is but a bureaucrat obsessed with his idea of his own self importance and thinks he is entitled to lecture others.

    Surprise! Serbia, Ukraine, Greenland, Iceland &c.. can learn to do without what he advocates; Indeed they would all be better off working out their own PRESENT INDIVIDUAL problems whilst the EU would be better advised to do likewise with its own PRESENT Problems.

    Expansion from any point of departure ought to be put off until progress in that area is achieved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *