Serbia expects date, not "green light"

BELGRADE -- Deputy PM for EU Integration Suzana Grubješić has said that she expects Serbia will on June 28 get a date for the beginning of negotiations with the EU.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

She said she "did not wish to consider the speculation" that the decision will be delayed, conditioned, "or replaced by some 'green light' for the path forward."

"I'm doing everything I can, along with my colleagues from the government, so that the decision by EU leaders at the summit in late June is clear and unambiguous and with no further requirements. For that reason I do not wish to comment on any 'signals' and speculations. I expect we will get a date," Grubješić told the Belgrade daily Večernje Novpsti.

She explained that getting a date June 28 "does not mean that negotiations will begin immediately on July 1," and noted that "any additional conditions or delays would not positively contribute to the current momentum in Serbia."

"In the administrative and technical sense, Serbia is ready to start accession negotiations tomorrow," said the deputy prime minister.

According to her, the possible failure to grant the country a date "would not make easier the already difficult and complicated implementation of the agreement with Priština."

Stating specifically what Serbia should do in the next twenty days to persuade Germany and that the country deserves the next step on the road to the EU, Grubješić explained that "we must begin with the implementation of the agreement reached with Priština."

"Progress is estimated by actions, not words. We all know that there is no theoretical chance that the entire agreement can be implemented immediately and in the short term, but it is important to begin. Serbia is ready to fulfill all obligations taken on by the agreement and the implementation plan," said Grubješić.

She announced that she would be on an official visit to Germany from June 10-13 for talks with numerous officials, "and seek to dispel the reservations about a positive decision for Serbia."

The minister also stated that early elections in Serbia "do not depend on Brussels," but on the decision of the largest party in the ruling coalition - the SNS.

Asked whether she supports the position of the SNS that after the EU decision, a reconstruction of the Serbian government should be considered, Grubješić, a member of Mlađan Dinkić's URS, answered in the affirmative, adding that neither she nor her colleagues wished to "run away from the subject."