The EU says “nein” to Serbia

Article published on Dec. 11, 2011
Article published on Dec. 11, 2011
By Tanja Milevska European leaders have not given candidate status to Serbia. “Unwise decision” for some…This last European Council of heads of states and governments of the EU will have displeased many, not only inside the EU but also among those waiting at its doors, such as some candidates to enlargement.
The first one is Serbia, who has been sent back to the European waiting room for at least three more months.

While the European Commission had recommended the EU member states to give Belgrade the status ofcandidate country for accession, giving some hope to thepro-European forces in the country, Serbia soon woke up to the disillusion. Germany is one of the biggest opponents, reluctant to enlarging the EU without prior “widening”.

And as chancellor Angela Merkel made known several times, the violent incidents in Kosovo these lastmonths and the many road blocks in negotiations between Prishtinaand Belgrade didn’t please Berlin, and many other countries…

One more effort will be needed by February when the EU comes back to the topic. Belgrade will thenbe able to materialize its hopes to become an official candidate for EU accession in March… if the “required progress” is shown.

But until then, who knows what couldhappen in this crucial country for the region, where the nextelections are scheduled for the month of May and where the radicalforces are gaining ground? Indeed, not long after the news from Brussels that candidate status wouldn’t be granted, supportersof the radical party burned a European flag in front of President Tadic’s cabinet, demanding an end to the country’s EUapplication, says Bloomberg.

The radicals in Serbia are much more inclined to turn to Russia rather than the EU, whom they blame for ‘losing Kosovo’, a mythical territory for many Serbs.

The decision to put off Serbia’s candidacy bid didn’t please all European leaders either. If he wasn’t heard during the discussions inside, Carl Bildt – a connoisseur of the region where he had been an EU and UN special envoy for many years – didn’t spare his colleagues on the socialnetworks, with this biting tweet: “Serbias hould have been given EU candidate status now. Shortsighted and unwise by the nations that blocked. All Balkans belong to Europe”.

The Serbian Deputy Prime Minister incharge of European affairs, Bozidar Djelic, was the first “victim”of the European NO today. Djelic resigned right after the decision saying that he had “promised” candidate status to the Serbs and that today’s decision was not “what Serbia expected”.