It pays to cooperate with The Hague U.N. tribunal.
The European Commission has recommended that Serbia and Montenegro be invited for talks with the EU which could eventually lead to membership in the bloc.
Almost five years after the overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic, the move was a reward for Belgrade’s cooperation in prompting indicted war crimes suspects from the former Yugoslav republic to turn themselves in.
In Brussels, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said this deserved praise.
“I am glad that Serbia and Montenegro has finally made significant progress in cooperating with The Hague tribunal. So far this year a dozen persons indicted for warcrimes have boarded the plane to The Hague.
Yet, in spite of the encouragement, Rehn said accession negotiations could not be considered until Serbia turned in top suspects Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.
EU Stabilisation and Association ties could help an economy frozen by a decade of war and isolation and encourage Belgrade to speed up painful reforms.
But Serbia and Montenegro membership in the European Union is unlikely before 2012.