giovedì, dicembre 24, 2009

a tutti

martedì, dicembre 22, 2009

Serbia to submit formal application for EU membership


Serbia is expected to submit its formal application for EU membership todayin the latest move to shed its pariah status after the conflicts that tore apart the former Yugoslavia.
President Boris Tadic will submit the request in Sweden, which holds the 27-member bloc's rotating presidency, joining the queue that includes the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Montenegro, as well as Iceland and Turkey.
In an indication of improving ties between Brussels and Belgrade, the EU last week dropped a 20-year-old visa requirement for Serbia, as well as for Montenegro and Macedonia, affecting some 10 million people.
The EU visa requirement remains in place for Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania, but it will be reviewed next year.
Citizens of former Yugoslavia had enjoyed free travel to other European countries in the past, but visa requirements and fees were introduced as the federation disintegrated amid war in 1991. The policy caused much resentment as residents were forced to wait in long queues at EU embassies.
Serbian membership, however, still faces considerable obstacles, not least its glaring failure to arrest Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb General wanted for genocide by the UN war crimes tribunal.
The ratification of the EU's pre-membership stabilisation and association agreement is on hold because the Netherlands wants to see Mladic first extradited to the Hague tribunal. Tadic, the leading reformist figure in Serbia acknowledged the application was only a start.
"It is a completely different matter whether we will get the candidate status before we complete our co-operation with the Hague tribunal," he said yesterday.
Some analysts say it could take as long as 10 years for Serbia to become a member of the EU and that the visa-free travel regime is compensation for the long wait.
Only one former Yugoslav republic – Slovenia which joined in 2004 – is in the EU. Croatia, which became a member of Nato in April, hopes to conclude its EU entry talks in 2010 and join in 2012. Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro have already applied for membership but have yet to start talks.

Bandiera della Jugoslavia che fu