Serbia is stepping up diplomatic efforts to get into EU

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Serbs step up diplomatic activity in Brussels

ISN SECURITY WATCH (22/03/05) - Serbian leaders have embarked on round of intense diplomatic activity aimed at securing a green light to begin talks on EU accession.

On Monday, Serbian President Boris Tadic was in Brussels, where he met EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Olli Rehn, the EU's enlargement commissioner.

Then on Tuesday, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica was also scheduled to meet Solana and Rehn.

At the same time, Svetozar Marovic, the president of Serbia and Montenegro, was in London meeting business leaders and, on Wednesday, the Queen.

In Strasbourg, Rasim Ljajic, the head of Serbia and Montenegro’s National Council for Cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, was in meetings at the Council of Europe.

With the possible exception of Marovic’s London trip, the visits are aimed at lobbying for a beginning of talks on EU accession next month.

At the moment, a Feasibility Study to determine whether Serbia and Montenegro is ready to begin such talks is being finished and it is due to be completed on 31 March. It will be presented to the European Commission on 12 April. For talks on accession to begin, the conclusion of the study must be favorable.

“It’s the first step in the process of European integration and we are the only country in the region without the study,” lamented President Tadic.

Serbia and Montenegro are now coming under intense pressure to hand over all those who have been indicted for war crimes by the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

Since last fall, nine Serbs and Bosnian Serbs have gone to The Hague, and over the weekend, Vinko Pandurevic, who commanded troops around the Muslim Srebrenica enclave during the Bosnian war, announced he would give himself up.

If Pandurevic fulfils his pledge, that would leave 14 more Serbs indicted but fugitives. General Ante Gotovina from Croatia also remains on the run. On 17 March, talks on EU accession with Croatia were cancelled because of Croatia’s failure to arrest Gotovina.

What has emerged from President Tadic’s discussions in Brussels is that the EU is demanding the arrests of the former head of the Yugoslav Army, Nebojsa Pavkovic, and Sreten Lukic, who commanded Serbian police units during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. Without their arrests, the Serbs have been told, there will be no favourable Feasibility Study.

A source close to Rehn said while he had not specified those two names to Tadic, “obviously they are next”. The source added that even if they were arrested, the pressure would continue. “We don’t want significant progress [in cooperation with the ICTY] that stops on 12 April.

The meaning of this is that even if Serbia and Montenegro get a green light to begin talks on 12 April, unless Bosnian wartime leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are handed over, cooperation will eventually cease, as it has in the case of Croatia.

(By Tim Judah in London)
They seem like fair enough conditions to me. Over 10 years on and the murdering scum are still on the run and I'm fairly sure they know where they are

Serbia and Montenegro in the EU? - How times have changed

What exactly is in it for us? :roll:
 

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