European Parliament President Backs Serbia's EU BidBulgaria in EU | November 22, 2011, Tuesday // 17:41| views
EP President Jerzy Buzek. File photo, EPA/BGNES
The EU must grant official candidate status for Serbia in December, stated European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek Tuesday.
Serbia is hoping to get the status of applicant for EU membership, but member states, including Germany have stated that although the country has implemented key reforms and is fully cooperative with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, it ought not receive applicant status before resolving outstanding issues with breakaway province of Kosovo.
Tuesday EP President Buzek was on an official trip to Finland, where local Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb, who also stated that Serbia should wait and iron out problems with Kosovo before becoming an applicant.
Buzek, on his part, commended reforms in Serbia and likened the processes in the country to those that prepared Bulgaria and Romania for membership.
"We have to give Serbia a clear signal that we are standing by and supporting the country," said the EP President.
Buzek argued that such a signal must undoubtedly be the granting of candidate status at the upcoming December 9 European Council meeting.
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