Skip to main content

Serbia: EU Enlargement

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government’s policy is on the (a) Serbia-EU interim agreement and (b) Serbia-EU Stabilisation and Association Agreement; and if he will make a statement. (279697)

The Government welcomed the signature last year of Serbia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU. The Government’s position remains that ratification of the SAA must be conditional on Serbia's full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). But the Government would be content, on the basis of Serbia’s significantly improved co-operation with ICTY, for the EU to begin to implement Serbia’s Interim Agreement with the EU.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on (a) the implementation of the Serbia-EU interim agreement and (b) ratification of the Serbia-EU Stabilisation and Association Agreement; and if he will make a statement. (279698)

The implementation of Serbia’s Interim Agreement with the EU and ratification of its Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU were discussed at the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 23 February 2009, the informal meeting of Foreign Ministers (Gymnich) on 28 March 2009 and the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15 June 2009. On 15 June I had made clear to EU partners that, on the basis of Serbia’s significantly improved co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the EU should be prepared to implement Serbia’s Interim Agreement with the EU. But to date there has been no consensus among EU member states on this. Ratification of Serbia’s Stabilisation and Association Agreement remains dependent on an assessment that Serbia is fully co-operating with the ICTY.