Serbia ready for status of candidate for EU membership at end of 2011
29. January 2011. | 08:54
Serbia's Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Friday he believes Serbia will make a crucial step towards EU integration before the end of his mandate and ensure its EU accession is an irreversible process.According to him, Serbia is going to complete all of the obligations required to get the status by the end of the year.
Serbia's Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Friday he believes Serbia will make a crucial step towards EU integration before the end of his mandate and ensure its EU accession is an irreversible process.
Ahead of his trip to Brussels, where he is going to hand EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele some 2,500 answers to the European Commission questionnaire, Cvetkovic stated that the next elections would not be dominated by the issue of whether Serbia should join the EU.
"I will deliver the answers to commissioner Fuele on Monday. I am convinced that by receiving the status of an EU membership candidate we will make a key step in our EU integration," Cvetkovic asserted.
According to him, Serbia is going to complete all of the obligations required to get the status by the end of the year.
"Our plan is to complete all the requirements at the end of the year and get an opinion that could be the basis for gaining the candidate status," the prime minister explained.
The EU integration has two aspects, he pointed out. The first is the questionnaire, and Serbia has shown a fair amount of efficiency there, while the second are the reforms that have to be completed before the European Commission's final opinion, Cvetkovic explained.
The second aspect concerns the adoption of a number of laws, he added.
The prime minister thinks it would be ideal if the accession negotiations started right after the European Commission delivers its opinion. When asked if that could be expected before the next parliamentary elections, he answered yes.
"We want the start date for the negotiations set as soon as possible," Cvetkovic stressed.
Serbia is trying to make its EU integration completely transparent, he noted, adding that the questionnaire answers would be posted on the government website after they had been delivered to the EU enlargement commissioner.
The work on the answers, besides being completed in record time, was also characterized by the fact that the non-government sector was included as well, which was not the case with other countries, said Cvetkovic.
He commented on the declining EU enthusiasm in Serbia by saying that it did not worry him, since other countries undergoing EU integration had recorded the same trend.
The polls that show the drop in EU enthusiasm also show an increase in the people's belief that the reforms required for EU accession are necessary, he added.
Keeping in mind the need for reforms, which essentially, although perhaps not formally, bring Serbia closer to the EU, there should be no worries about the future if the work on the reforms continues, the prime minister concluded.