Rehn hails unilateral SAA application

EU Enlargement Commissary Olli Rehn has welcomed Serbia’s decision to begin unilateral implementation of the Interim Agreement.

Izvor: Tanjug

Thursday, 23.10.2008.

09:31

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EU Enlargement Commissary Olli Rehn has welcomed Serbia’s decision to begin unilateral implementation of the Interim Agreement. Rehn told Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti that the decision would “accelerate Serbia’s progress on its European path.” Rehn hails unilateral SAA application "The arrest of Radovan Karadzic is an essential step in Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. In my opinion, and in the opinion of the Commission, that should be acknowledged with the implementation of the SAA, or the so-called Interim Agreement,” the commissioner told the daily. "In anticipation of a unanimous decision by the EU member-states, Serbia can do two things. The first thing it can do is to work hard to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal and prove that this obstacle has been overcome. The next thing Serbia needs to do is to start implementing the Interim Trade Agreement, as a tangible practical measure that accelerates Serbia’s progress towards Europe. I welcome that decision,” Rehn said. “That means that implementation of the Interim Agreement will help Serbia to accelerate its own European future, which of course, is our common goal,” he added. "2009 could be a key year for Serbia on its path to the EU. If all conditions are met, Serbia can become a candidate-state by the end of next year,” Rehn said. "When it comes to liberalization of the visa regime, Serbia knows exactly what technical terms it needs to fulfill in terms of borders and documents, for example. More detailed analysis of Serbia’s progress is expected in November. I hope that enough progress has been made, so that we can begin the implementation of the visa-free regime before the end of 2009,” the commissioner said. As far as the UN General Assembly’s decision that the International Court of Justice should give its advisory opinion on Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence, he said that the European Commission was not authorized to recognize countries. Rehn pointed out that this was a question for the EU member-states, adding that he believed that Serbia’s EU progress and the settlement of the Kosovo issue were two different, but parallel, processes.

Rehn hails unilateral SAA application

"The arrest of Radovan Karadžić is an essential step in Serbia’s cooperation with the Hague Tribunal. In my opinion, and in the opinion of the Commission, that should be acknowledged with the implementation of the SAA, or the so-called Interim Agreement,” the commissioner told the daily.

"In anticipation of a unanimous decision by the EU member-states, Serbia can do two things. The first thing it can do is to work hard to cooperate with the Hague Tribunal and prove that this obstacle has been overcome. The next thing Serbia needs to do is to start implementing the Interim Trade Agreement, as a tangible practical measure that accelerates Serbia’s progress towards Europe. I welcome that decision,” Rehn said.

“That means that implementation of the Interim Agreement will help Serbia to accelerate its own European future, which of course, is our common goal,” he added.

"2009 could be a key year for Serbia on its path to the EU. If all conditions are met, Serbia can become a candidate-state by the end of next year,” Rehn said.

"When it comes to liberalization of the visa regime, Serbia knows exactly what technical terms it needs to fulfill in terms of borders and documents, for example. More detailed analysis of Serbia’s progress is expected in November. I hope that enough progress has been made, so that we can begin the implementation of the visa-free regime before the end of 2009,” the commissioner said.

As far as the UN General Assembly’s decision that the International Court of Justice should give its advisory opinion on Kosovo’s unilaterally declared independence, he said that the European Commission was not authorized to recognize countries.

Rehn pointed out that this was a question for the EU member-states, adding that he believed that Serbia’s EU progress and the settlement of the Kosovo issue were two different, but parallel, processes.

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