More conditions possible on Serbia's thorny road to EU

Serbia must be very careful because of open issues with neighboring countries, EU members, which could be brought up at any stage of the negotiation process.

Izvor: Tanjug
Tanja Miscevic (Tanjug, file)
Tanja Miscevic (Tanjug, file)

This has been stated by the head of Serbia's team in EU accession negotiations, Tanja Miscevic.

"We are very aware of that and at the beginning of the process we made an overview of potential bilateral issues with all states, not only neighboring countries, and much attention is being paid to that," Miscevic told reporters in Belgrade.

It is unknown when the problems will escalate, but they can be resolved in bilateral discussions, she said.

Bilateral commissions will continue their work once the new government has been elected, Miscevic said.

"One of the problems with Croatia is the border on the Danube, the missing, the archives..., so there are several issues", Miscevic said.

Corina Stratulat of the Brussels-based European Policy Center refused to rule out the possibility of Serbia again finding itself in a situation like the one that resulted from Croatia's veto on opening negotiation chapters 23 and 24.

It is unpredictable whether Romania will raise the issue of minorities - I do not have a crystal ball to tell if Serbia will open chapters 23 and 24 by the end of June, but we are all hoping for that, she said.

Meanwhile, former adviser to Croatia's president, professor Dejan Jovic, is convinced that the biggest problem for Serbia on its path of European integration will be "Kosovo, not Croatia."

He also believes that Croatia ending its blockade of chapter 23 in Serbia's EU accession talks "is not the end of the story."

"It seems that a a number of similar gestures will follow, perhaps not only by Croatia," Jovic said and added that the process of joining the EU is "lengthy and frustrating."

According to him, "bilateral conditioning" is nothing new. In this context, he mentioned that France "for a long time hindered Britain's European road."

These statements were heard on Monday in Belgrade during a panel discussion dubbed, "The role of (EU) member states in the process of membership negotiations - the game of cat and mouse" - which concluded that open issues "must be solved in bilateral talks."


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