Deputy PM resigns in wake of EU decision

BRUSSELS -- Serbia's deputy prime minister in charge of EU integration, Božidar Đelić, announced on Friday that he had submitted his resignation.

Božidar Đelić (Tanjug, file)
Božidar Đelić (Tanjug, file)

He said he had informed Serbian president Boris Tadic about the move.

Đelić stated that his resignation was "not a reflection of the defeat of state's policy but a personal decision", as he had announced earlier he would make such a move if Serbia did not become a candidate for EU membership.

Đelić did not wish to answer the question about "who could have done more for the country's EU bid", stressing only that Serbia should think about its future steps as the EU was "still in the best interests of Serbian citizens".

"We must continue our EU integration and protect our citizens in Kosovo," Đelić said in Brussels on Friday, in the wake of the EU announcement that it was postponing its decision on making Serbia a candidate for membership.

The decision not to grant candidate status to Serbia is a decision by the EU member states, and it obligates them to take the responsibility, too, the now outgoing deputy premier said.

He added that the outcome of today's EU summit was a result of the fact that “some member states imposed the conditions for entry to the EU as also the conditions for candidate status.”

Đelić noted there had been "ad hoc changes to the rules because some countries wanted to exclude Resolution 1244 as the framework for resolving the Kosovo problem", and concluded EU's "credibility" was now at stake because of that.