European foreign ministers say Serbia should be given candidate status to join the EU. However, a final decision, expected later this week at a full EU summit, was delayed because of Romanian reservations.
Despite that, Serbia’s President Boris Tadic welcomed the move.
“We are expecting a positive final decision. Now, we are talking about some problems between Serbia and some member states of the EU,” Tadic said.
The breakthrough over Serbia’s candidacy follows last week’s deal with Belgrade over its breakaway province, Kosovo. But, Romania is still refusing to rubber stamp the latest recommendation due to concerns about the status of Serbia’s Vlach minority. Some feel this new condition is unfair.
Serbian journalist Dusan Gajic said: ‘‘It can undermine the credibility of the EU because there was a set of conditions for candidate status. It has been delivered and now we have all of sudden the issue of the Vlach minority in eastern Serbia.’‘
In Brussels, euronews’ Margherita Sforza said: ‘‘It will still take some time before Serbia is able to officially begin accession talks. According to sources in the Commission Serbia will need to wait at least until Autumn for an EU report on candidate countries. Only then will it be able to renew talks with Brussels.’‘