Survey moves Serbia closer to EU candidacy
Nov 24, 2010, 12:24 GMT
Belgrade - Serbia moved another step towards European Union membership Wednesday when it received a questionnaire seeking information about all legislation relevant to EU membership.
'I am certain that the Serbian government will seize the opportunity and implement necessary reforms,' EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said, after handing the document to Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic in Belgrade.
The questionnaire, which consists of 2,500 questions in 33 chapters, is a step a prospective EU member has to take in order to join the bloc. The next step is being recognized as a membership candidate.
Cvetkovic said that he expects the questionnaire and additional inquiries to be completed in time for Serbia to become a candidate in the latter half of 2011.
But Serbia will continue to be blocked from EU membership until it finds and hands over war crimes suspects to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
According to the latest report by the UN tribunal's chief prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, Serbia is still not doing enough to track down Ratko Mladic, charged with genocide in the Bosnian war, and Goran Hadzic, accused of crimes against humanity in Croatia.
Serbia's relations with its former province Kosovo may also complicate its progress towards EU membership.
The majority of EU nations recognized Kosovo as a new country after it declared independence in 2008, but Belgrade continues to insist on sovereignty over the territory, which has an Albanian majority.
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