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Serbia in the European concert?

If the EU's ministers responsible for European Affairs agree on Monday to send the application for membership to the European Commission, Serbia could join the ranks of aspiring candidates for the European Union. Which launches the enlargement procedure. In general, after this “green light”, membership is in the crosshairs… barring an accident. It will undoubtedly take several years of negotiation, accompanied (this is a rule) by tensions or slammed doors on both sides, for it to become effective. But in Brussels, no one doubts that Serbia will have the right to sit at the European table within half a dozen years (the average time for a negotiation).

26 vs. 1

One opposition remains: that of the Netherlands. The 2nd chamber thus voted, last Wednesday, a motion which provides that " The Netherlands must only approve the continuation of the procedure for Serbia's accession to the EU when this country fully cooperates with the International Criminal Court in The Hague ". But even in The Hague, there seems little faith in the postponement of the Commission's recommendation. The Netherlands are playing 26 to 1 and are “isolated” on the issue, and the new government has only just been installed.

The Serbian bet on the way to success

Even if it remains undermined by a certain corruption, and by the question of the past of the Yugoslav wars, the Serbian state is one of the most structured in the region. And he could move forward quite quickly in the different negotiation chapters. At least faster than its neighbors: Montenegro, Macedonia or Albania. Its political weight is necessary for the stabilization process that began around fifteen years ago (since the Dayton-Paris agreements in fact). And Serbia's 8 million inhabitants make this country the most important in the region (with Greece to the south and Austria to the north). In doing so, Serbia will have succeeded in its challenge: joining the European concert in the wake of the accession of Croatia, which is at the end of its journey. Once the accession of Croatia (and Iceland) has been approved, the EU is preparing for an eighth enlargement which could include: Serbia, Macedonia (once the name issue has been resolved with Greece) and Montenegro.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).