The Polish Presidency of the EU Council will insist that the EU heads of state and government should decide on Serbia’s EU candidacy at the summit on Dec. 9.
These announcements came even despite the fact that some countries want this issue to be postponed, according to director of the European policy department at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Artur Harazim, who spoke in Brussels on Monday.
However, I believe that the EU Council will decide in December, Harazim stressed, adding that this matter will first be discussed by EU foreign ministers who are to meet on December 5, and that the final decision will be made by Eu heads of state and government on December 9.
Harazim, whose country is presiding over the Council of the EU, pointed out at a panel discussion on EU enlargement organized by the European Policy Centre in Brussels, that the issue of EU enlargement is still one of Poland’s priorities.
However, he admitted that other 26 members do not have the same enlargement plans.
Our job is to work with the countries that are still skeptical about this issue, Harazim underlined, referring to Germany and France’s non paper requesting that the final decision of Serbia’s candidacy and setting the date for negotiations for Montenegro be postponed for next year.
The document, drafted before October 12 when the European Commission (EC) recommended that Serbia should be given an EU candidate status and Montenegro a date for negotiations, leaked to the public last week.
The meeting on EU enlargement in Brussels was also attended by EC Director-General for Enlargement Stefano Sannino, who expressed cautious optimism regarding the Western Balkans’ EU integration.
It should be clearly stated that the EU door remains open, but also stressed that those who are entering should fully meet the criteria, Sannino stressed.
Director of the EU Integration Office in Serbia Milica Delevic, who also took part in the talks, expressed hope that the technical dialogue between Priština and Belgrade, which was suspended after the escalation of violence in northern Kosovo and Metohija, will soon continue.
Free flow of goods and people, as well as the establishment of the rule of law in northern Kosovo, is equally in the interest of Serbia as of everyone else, Delevic said.
As soon as this matter is resolved, we will be able to use time and energy on solving other problems, Delevic said.
According to the EC’s recommendation, the reestablishment of the dialogue is the crucial condition that Serbia needs to fulfill in order to obtain the EU candidacy.