Franco Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister and advisor on the EU integration process to the Serbian government, said on Friday that it is an achievable goal that Serbia becomes an EU member state by 2020.
According to Frattini, this depends to a great extent on how much Serbia will be capable of implementing reforms, and even changing its Constitution.
If you carry out reforms, the goal that Serbia’s deputy prime minister proclaimed that Serbia becomes an EU member state by 2020 is achievable. It is objective, why not, Frattini said in an interview to the Belgrade-based broadcaster Prva.
He said that on Friday he talked with First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic about elections, and the dilemma as to whether it would be good for Serbia to hold them now.
I have told him what I think about that, this being that elections would be good if we had a clear winner, and if they resulted in an even stronger and more determined government, Frattini said.
Frattini does not think that Serbia will be required to officially recognize Kosovo’s independence, noting that it is not a point in the adopted negotiating framework.
In all European issues, this is put aside, he explained, noting that some important member states of the EU did not recognize Kosovo, such as Spain for example.
It is clear that the normalization of relations is required, which implies a set of issues that could be resolved without the precondition that Serbia has to officially recognize Kosovo, he stressed.
Asked whether at the very end of the negotiation process, Serbia’s entry will be halted as the enlargement fatigue would overcome the Union, Frattini voiced confidence that the EU will certainly emerge from the crisis in the coming years, so the environment will be entirely different and more positive.
We realize, for example I, as an Italian and European, that there could be no united Europe without Serbia as its member, he underscored.
Asked whether it would be easier for Serbia to negotiate on its NATO entry at the same time, taking into account that most new members first joined the North-Atlantic Alliance and then the EU, Frattini said that NATO is a very difficult issue for Serbia, so it is too early to raise that question.
I think we should not cause confusion. The EU entry is now one clearly chartered path, and NATO is something different, Frattini concluded.