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Serbia's EU candidate status within reach

Serbia's EU candidate status within reach
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Serbia could be granted the status of a candidate for European Union Membership as early as next year. Serbian President Boris Tadic has been in Brussels in an attempt to reopen EU partnership talks, frozen in 2006. The EU wants Serbia to cooperate fully with the war crimes tribunal in the Hauge, a key condition in kick starting the negotiations.

Furthermore Serbia must assist in resolving the status of the disputed Kosovo province. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said achieving candidate status by 2008 is ambitious but possible. Serb President Boris Tadic said “I really believe that all inductees have to go to The Hague tribunal. This is priority number one for the next democratic government.”

Serbia is both the biggest ex-Yugoslav republic and the slowest to cement ties with Europe. Slovenia joined the EU in the 2004 enlargement wave, Croatia is negotiating membership and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is an EU candidate.