“EU candidate status in 2009”

NOVI SAD -- Daily Dnevnik writes that the European Commission has “opened the door” for Serbia to gain EU candidate status in its latest report.

The daily states that it has seen the draft of the European Commission’s report, adding that the earlier comments by EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn that Serbia could become an EU candidate in 2009 have now become the EC’s official position.

“After the presidential and parliamentary elections, Serbia confirmed that it was dedicated to a European future. The arrest and extradition of Radovan Karadžić is a giant step towards Serbia’s complete cooperation with the Hague Tribunal,” states the EC report, according to the daily.

The report adds that Serbia has shown that it has the administrative capacities for substantial progress on the road towards the EU, and that it is in a good position to quickly and effectively implement the interim trade agreement.

The EU criticized Serbia in its report for reform stagnation in 2008, according to Dnevnik.

The report states that the greatest challenges for Serbia are reform of the court system, and tackling corruption and organized crime.

Dnevnik states that overcoming these challenges and completing cooperation with the Hague Tribunal are the basis prerequisites Serbia needs to meet to become a candidate for EU membership.