Dačić "does not expect new requirements"

BELGRADE -- Ivica Dačić has said he did not expect new requirements for Serbia's accession to the EU to be set in Chapter 35 of the negotiations, which refers to Kosovo.

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

The prime minister spoke for RTS late on Monday, ahead of the first intergovernmental conference with the EU in Brussels today.

Joining the EU is Serbia's strategic goal, Dačić noted, but could not specify which chapter would be opened first in the talks.

It could be chapters 23 and 24, which refer to human rights, justice and security, but Chapter 35 or, as in the case of some countries, Chapter 32, which concerns financial control, could be addressed first as well.

The topic of which chapter should be opened first will be discussed at the second conference on July 25, he stated.

Serbia got the start date for the talks mostly because of the progress in building normal relations with Priština and results in its efforts against crime and corruption, Dačić stressed.

The judiciary issue has not been settled yet and a community of Serb municipalities has not been formed because of Pristina's unwillingness to compromise, he pointed out.

"Serbia cannot answer for Pristina's faults," he said, adding EU High Representative Catherine Ashton "was aware of that too."

Belgrade should try to solve the issues with Priština by the end of the year, while Ashton, who has treated the Serbian side fairly, is the facilitator for the talks, he noted.

Dačić reiterated that early parliamentary elections are not a priority, "because of the many tasks that are before the government, but this, too, can be discussed."

"Ahead of us are agreements on EU membership, the dialogue with Priština, the construction of South Stream, investments from the Emirate, the Chinese premier will come to open the bridge over the river, the negotiations with the IMF and the World Bank... In my opinion, not because of my position and role of my party in the government, elections are not a priority, but we'll talk about that with Vučić, " he said.