Serbia "could join EU in 2020," says EU representative
Source: Tanjug, Večernje novosti
BELGRADE -- Head of the EU Delegation in Belgrade Michael Davenport believes that Serbia could become an EU member state in 2020.
He notes that it was realistic that the first chapters would be opened in early 2015.
The EU official underscores that it is the normalization, and not the recognition of Kosovo's independence, that is important in Serbia's negotiations with the EU and relations with Priština.
"The pace at which you will advance along the EU path will depend on Serbia's efforts, political will to carry out reforms and capacities of your government to conduct negotiations. That requires that a negotiating framework be formed as soon as possible, and in that case, the goal to join the EU by 2020 would have a chance of success," Davenport says in an interview published in the Friday issue of the Belgrade-based daily Večernje Novosti.
Asked whether "Kosovo and the EU" are still two tracks, Davenport says that it is clear that provisions on the comprehensive normalization and a legally binding agreement will be very important in the negotiation process.
"The requirement for progress in the dialogue is being interpreted to a great extent as part of meeting the Copenhagen criteria for membership, that being regional cooperation," he explains.
Asked about the content of the legally-binding agreement, he notes that it is early to talk about that, adding that the deal will definitely have to reflect all issues regarding the comprehensive normalization.
One of the crucial areas is a consistent implementation of the agreement between Belgrade and Priština that they will not block each other's EU pathway, Davenport says.
When asked whether the recognition of Kosovo will be a requirement for Serbia's EU membership, Davenport notes that a comprehensive normalization is required, rather than recognition, adding that this is the stance of the European Council and all 28 member states.
He explains that chapter 35, "referring to the normalization of relations with Kosovo, will cover the implementation of the agreements reached to date on customs, integrated border management, cadastre, registries, cooperation with EULEX and continuation of comprehensive normalization."
"Prime ministers Dačić and Thaci agreed that additional agreements were needed in the process of normalization," he added.
Davenport believes that at the moment it is difficult to say what will be the criteria for the opening of other chapters.
"The screening for three chapters -23, 24, 32 has been completed, and now the expert missions of the European Commission are coming to Serbia. This will be taken as the basis for an action plan, which will be discussed with the Serbian government, and then these plans and their implementation will set the criteria for the opening of chapters," Davenport says.
December 27, 2013 | 15:59 | Source: Beta | Comments: (15) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The number of asylum seekers from Serbia to the EU increased in November and it could endanger the visa-free regime, warned Prime Minister Ivica Dačić.
December 27, 2013 | 15:36 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Opposition Democratic Party (DS) leader Dragan Đilas says that as long as he is at the helm, his party "will not enter a coalition with the Progressives (SNS)."
December 27, 2013 | 14:28 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić has said that "authorized services will react should they establish that President Tomislav Nikolić has been wiretapped."
December 27, 2013 | 13:24 | Source: B92, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Acting Director of the Serbian Tax Administration Ivan Simič on Friday resigned from that position, the Finance Ministry has announced.
December 27, 2013 | 09:58 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vučić said on Thursday that the privatization deal for Petroleum Industry of Serbia (NIS) reached Gazprom brought more benefits than damage.
December 26, 2013 | 16:05 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
SREMSKA KAMENICA -- All the claims made by President Tomislav Nikolić regarding wiretapping and the threats he has received "will be investigated carefully," says Vladimir Božović.
December 26, 2013 | 15:30 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Ivica Dačić says Serbia is making efforts to implement the Brussels agreement fully and continue the dialogue with Priština.
December 26, 2013 | 14:41 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbia has made "a historic progress but it is still at the very beginning of a very challenging process," MPs heard on Thursday.
December 26, 2013 | 14:31 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Higher Court president has reacted to reports about Judge Vladimir Vučinić's removal as president of the Special Court by saying he never held the position.
December 26, 2013 | 12:29 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
GRAČANICA -- Branimir Stojanović, newly-elected mayor of the municipality of Gračanica, took over the duties from former mayor Bojan Stojanović officially on Thursday.
December 26, 2013 | 11:05 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Tomislav Nikolić says he feels "as safe as any Serbian citizen, but that it is important to determine which of the threats he received recently are serious."
December 26, 2013 | 09:17 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić has said that there will be no new requirements from Brussels when it comes to Kosovo.
December 25, 2013 | 14:33 | Source: Tanjug, Novi magazin | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said that the Brussels agreement "is not her success."
December 25, 2013 | 13:09 | Source: Beta | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The ruling Progressives (SNS) could "in the first ten days of January" decide whether early parliamentary elections will be called, said Zorana Mihajlović.
December 25, 2013 | 11:42 | Source: RTS, Tanjug | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Milivoje Mihajlović said on Wednesday that "some services in charge of counterintelligence protection have failed to do their job."
December 25, 2013 | 10:37 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (5) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Ivica Dačić has said that recognition of Kosovo, that is the issue of status, and UN membership for the territory was "a red line for Belgrade."
December 25, 2013 | 10:29 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Ivica Dačić stated on Tuesday that the allegations about wiretapping Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić should be investigated.
December 25, 2013 | 09:23 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (3) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- PM Ivica Dačić has stated that the government elected by the citizens to open the door to the EU "achieved its goal and thus won its first important battle."
December 24, 2013 | 16:20 | Source: Tanjug | Comments: (7) | Send comment
NIŠ -- A total of 25 tons of humanitarian aid sent by the Russian government for use by the Niš-based Serbian-Russian Emergency Situations Center arrived on Tuesday.