Yugoslavia wants to join the EU

Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic says Yugoslavia
should become EU member within ten years

Mr Djindjic urged the EU to include the Balkans into its
enlargement process, stressing that EU membership would
help transform the Balkans from a historic “region of
disintegration” into one where integration would supersede
the national state. He suggested that the cost of keeping
the Balkans in the EU is lower than that of keeping it
outside, taking into account the refugee problem and
organised crime. The Serbian prime minister said his
government would present a “clear concept for eventual EU
membership” by 2004.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
went even further, suggesting that the EU should look
beyond its traditional concept of Europe and embrace such
countries as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. He said that it
could take Ukraine and Belarus one to two decades to
prepare, while Russia was “the next important case”.

 

Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic told the European
Economic Summit in Salzburg on 2 July that the removal of
former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic will make it
possible for Yugoslavia to join the EU within ten years. Mr
Djindjic said that Yugoslavia and other Balkan countries
would not meet the current criteria for EU membership
within a decade. He is convinced, however, that the
criteria would soften in time.

 

Yugoslavia has the prospect of EU membership under the
Stabilisation and Association Process, created by the
European Commission in order to stabilise the Balkan
region. However, the federation of Serbia and Montenegro,
including the Serbian regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina, has
been under severe strain after the extradition of Mr
Milosevic to the UN tribunal for war crimes in The Hague.

Mr Djindjic, who up to now seemed to be
indifferent to Montenegro's intention to proclaim
independence from Yugoslavia, called for the preservation
of the federation at the European Economic Summit.
Montenegro's independence would immediately pose a problem
in Kosovo, a Serbian province with an ethnic Albanian
majority, which is currently a NATO protectorate but
aspires to become an Albanian nation state.

 

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