"Goal to complete EU accession-related work by 2018"

Serbia's goal is to complete all EU-accession-related work by 2018, Serbia's First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said on Monday.

Source: Beta, Tanjug
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He added that he expects the country to become a full-fledged EU member in 2020.

"Our goal is to finish everything that is up to us by 2018, after which the decision on our accession to the EU in 2020 will no longer depend on us," Vučić told reporters in the Serbian government building.

"Tuesday, January 21 - the date of the first Serbia-EU intergovernmental conference in Brussels - is an important, big day for Serbia," Vučić said.

According to him, "agreement must be reached at Monday's government session on some issues related to Serbia's negotiating framework to ensure a unanimous government approach to the talks with the partners in Brussels."

The issues are particularly related to Chapter 35, which deals with Kosovo, with a referendum on EU accession - which could be held in 2019 - also among the matters to be ironed out, said the deputy PM.

Speaking about the negotiating framework, Vučić said it was still unknown "what Chapter 35 will look like," and added that "some things can come up, and everything won't be easy."

He also confirmed that Minister without Portfolio in charge of EU integration Branko Ružić would travel to Brussels tomorrow. Asked whether this minister would also keep his job, Vučić sad that he "does not concern himself with speculations."

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