Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-328"

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"Mr President, the future of the former Yugoslav republic of Serbia lies in Europe. That applies to all the republics of the former Yugoslavia. As is the case for every potential candidate, there are conditions that apply to accession to this community of values, and I would therefore like to thank the rapporteur not just for his report but also for making it clear in his speech what these conditions are. Unlimited cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is indeed a precondition for the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. I find it hard to stomach that war criminals such as Mladić and Karadžić still have so many sympathisers, not only among the general public but also among the police, the military and many public office-holders in Serbia: in other words, the very people with whom we will soon be negotiating Serbia’s closer relations with the EU. Dealing with the past is not a formal condition for closer relations with the EU, but it would help the Serbs, their immediate neighbours and the EU as a whole. The Kosovo issue, too, must be viewed separately in formal terms, but I find this nationalist stonewalling very unhelpful. I also think it is wrong to purchase a Russian veto in the Security Council with generous sell-offs of key companies to Russian firms. At the end of the process – according to Belgrade’s calculations – the EU is expected to provide compensation, in the form of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, for concessions which have not actually been made in the Kosovo issue. That will become apparent after 10 December. I therefore fully support Mr Lagendijk’s position. The level of cooperation on the issue of Kosovo will thus be one of the factors which is either more helpful or more of a hindrance to Serbia’s closer relations with the EU, and Belgrade should take note of that fact."@en1

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