Serbia will start negotiations on accession to the EU in January. This was decided at the Council of the European Union meeting on 17 December.
“This is an important decision, not just for Serbia, but for the whole region and for the EU,” commented Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The negotiations will set a clear course for political and economic reforms in Serbia. It is expected that Kosovo will enter into a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU in 2014.
“Closer integration into the EU for both Serbia and Kosovo will help to normalise relations between these two countries,” said Mr Brende.
The start of negotiations for Serbia is linked to its efforts to normalise relations with Kosovo. More and more countries in the region are basing their reforms on EU standards.
“The Serbian authorities’ determination and the active engagement of the EU and other actors over a long period of time are now producing concrete results,” said Mr Brende.