Frattini: Serbia Must Become EU Candidate by End of 2011

World | September 7, 2011, Wednesday // 16:53|  views

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini (R) welcomes Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj in Rome. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Serbia's efforts toward integration into the European Union must be rewarded by giving it a full candidate status by the end of the year, stated Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini Wednesday.

"Serbia's getting closer to the EU helps Kosovo too," stated Frattini after meeting Kosovar counterpart Enver Hoxhaj, who is on a on an official trip to Rome, reports Serbian agency Beta.

"We think that Serbia must be encouraged by giving it the status of a EU candidate by the end of the year," has said Frattini, who has served as EU's Justice and Security Commissioner in the first Barroso college.

"In that case we might look for more responsibilities for Serbia's so that its candidate status can be of advantage for both countries," added the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

End of August German Chancellor Angela Merkel poured cold water on Serbia's hopes for swift EU integration, when on a visit to Belgrade she stated that this will not happen until Serbia "normalizes" relations with breakaway province of Kosovo and "achieves progress" in bilateral negotiation.

Recognizing Kosovo is something that Serbia's leaders have stated that they will never do, something that Chancellor Merkel in effect requested during her Belgar

Serbia's government, headed by President Boris Tadic and PM Mirko Cvetkovic, had hoped that the recent arrest of Gen General Mladic and Goran Hadzic and their rending to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia would be sufficient to further the country's integration process.

Until recently, increased cooperation with the Tribunal, in addition to internal reforms, were the main demands that the European Union posed to the Western Balkans country in the accession process.

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Tags: Enver Hoxhaj, reforms, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Goran Hadzic, Ratko Mladic, accession, Integration, independence, Mirko Cvetkovic, Boris Tadic, Angela Merkel, Italian, Italy, German, Germany, Serbia, kosovo, Franco Frattini, Barroso, European Union, EU, commissioner


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