”Serbia will not join EU before 2018”

BELGRADE -- Not a single country, except for Iceland, should expect to join the EU in the next six to eight years, says European Integration Office Head Milan Pajević.

Milan Pajević (Tanjug, file)
Milan Pajević (Tanjug, file)

“The state leadership is working on protecting our national interest in Kosovo but not to the detriment of the EU integration,” he told daily Večernje novosti.

“The government is not questioning Serbia’s EU pathway. Besides, this is written down as the first and the most important thing in the coalition agreement,” Pajević was quoted as saying.

He added that he expected the resolution on Kosovo to help continue the dialogue in a good direction and that it would be enough for the European Commission (EC) when it would make a recommendation about a date for the beginning of the EU accession talks with Serbia.

When asked if it was realistic to expect that Serbia would get a date in June, Pajević said:

“This is a plan that was given by the European Council. An assessment of further progress in the dialogue will be made in March and it will be a key for the decision on the date. A ‘verdict’ of EU heads of state and government will depend on the EC’s assessment of results and dynamics of the dialogue.”

When asked to comment on the fact that Germany still opposed further EU enlargement, the European Integration Office director said that “this should be attributed primarily to internal political events in Germany”.

“Support not only to the enlargement, but to the EU is declining there. The fact is that no country is close to the EU accession,” he told the daily.

“In the next six to eight years, not a single country, except maybe for Iceland, should expect to become an EU member,” Pajević concluded.