Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/serbia and Montenegro: War Crimes Surrender "Good News" but Work Still to Do, Says Commission

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/serbia and Montenegro: War Crimes Surrender "Good News" but Work Still to Do, Says Commission

Article excerpt

ICTY confirmed in a statement that Mr Lukic had been transferred to its detention unit from Serbia, having been at large for a year and a half. A spokeswoman for EU Enlargement/Western Balkans Commissioner Olli Rehn told Europe Information that the European Commission "appreciated" the latest move in cooperation with the tribunal, although it expected more progress to be able to speak about "significant progress leading to full cooperation".

This condition should be met if the Commission is to recommend opening talks towards a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia and Montenegro that would draw the potential candidate country closer to the EU. The Commission is due to pronounce on the matter on April 12.

Officials have said that the Commission's 'feasibility study' is now technically ready but that the political decision still has to be taken. They have welcomed the recent surrender of some ICTY indictees but to ward off any complacency Mr Rehn has pointed out "that you shouldn't start selling the bear skin before you have caught the bear".

EU sources decline to quantify how many wanted generals should be in The Hague by April 12 for a positive SAA announcement, but they suggest that it is important to see a positive trend in ICTY cooperation that would continue after April 12. And they say that it is important to make sure that all those indictees within reach of the Serbia and Montenegro authorities are going to the tribunal in The Hague. …

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