Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/montenegro/serbia : No Delays for Podgorica and Belgrade, Says Commission

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/montenegro/serbia : No Delays for Podgorica and Belgrade, Says Commission

Article excerpt

The European Commission has reiterated its full support for Serbia to be granted candidate status in December and for talks to begin for Montenegro's accession to the European Union after a Franco-German document saying negotiations should be delayed was revealed.

"On Montenegro, we recommended the start of the negotiations and the Commission clearly sticks to these recommendations," said Peter Stano, spokesman for Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. Yet, he added that the final decision would still remain the EU member states' prerogative and they will meet in December to discuss this issue. "We have several weeks until the Council where this could be discussed and this provides enough time for discussion, reflection and finding a consensus between the member states," he noted.

But according to a joint Franco-German white paper that has been leaked to the press, both member states wish to delay the talks with Montenegro until June 2012, thereby leaving more time to review the reforms the country has implemented over the past few months. The leaked report also asks for additional conditions that Podgorica should meet if it wants a date for the start of its EU accession negotiations. These conditions would include amendments to the Montenegrin constitution by the end of the year in the field of judiciary. In the document, France and Germany also request that Montenegro fully implements the law on public servants and reports regularly to Brussels on ongoing investigations, arrests and convictions regarding corruption scandals. …

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