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Serbia told to take EU accession in steps (SETimes.com)

Encouraged by several recent breakthroughs in its relations with the EU, Serbia is now considering the best timing for submitting its official application for membership in the 27-nation bloc. But some senior EU officials indicated on Wednesday (December 9th) that Belgrade should hold off on that move for the time being.

"We should take one step at a time," Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said during a conference on the Western Balkans in Brussels, two days after the EU decided to unblock the Interim Trade Agreement signed with Serbia in April 2008. Monday's approval followed UN war crimes chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz's positive assessment of Belgrade's co-operation with The Hague tribunal.

Enforcement of the trade pact, which is part of Serbia's Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, came on the heels of another major breakthrough in the country's relations with the bloc. On November 30th, the EU interior ministers voted to allow Serbian citizens, along with those of Macedonia and Montenegro, to travel to most of Europe without visas, as of December 19th.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 10th, 2009 at 02:46:57 PM EST
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