The arrest of Radovan Karadzic could prove pivotal in Serbia’s attempts to join the European Union. The ex-Bosnian Serb leader’s capture was a key pre-condition for Serbia’s EU entry.
In Brussels, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn welcomed Serbia’s efforts to cooperate with the UN war crimes tribunal. “I appreciate the determination of the new government to turn the page and close this chapter. Leave the nationalist past behind and move towards the european future which is ahead of Serbia,” he said.
Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic also underlined Serbia’s commitment to find a solution. “There is a full political commitment, we’ve always been saying there is a full political commitment, and on behalf of the Serbian Government, to make sure there is an end to the process of cooperating with the Hague Tribunal and fulfilling all of our obligations,” he said.
In April, Serbian President Boris Tadic signed a long-delayed association pact with European leaders. But, EU countries refused to ratify the pact without Belgrade’s compliance over Karadzic. With that obstacle now removed, Serbia’s recognition as a candidate for EU entry becomes a distinct possibility.
The decision over Serbia’s future EU membership now lies in the hands of the UN war crimes tribunal attorney General Serge Brammertz. He will decide if Belgrade meets the necessary criteria.