BRUSSELS – Although the European Commission (EC) say they will analyze a ruling by a Belgrade court on non-extradition of three officials of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) to a war crimes tribunal in The Hague, they believe a consensus among the member states will be reached and Chapter 23 in EU accession talks with Serbia will be opened soon, Tanjug learned at the EC.
Regarding the information on the ruling by the Higher Court in Belgrade, according to which the prerequisites for the arrests and extradition of the three Radicals, legal advisers to Vojislav Seselj, to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), pursuant to an ICTY warrant of January 19, 2015, have not been met, the EC said Serbia was under obligation to fully cooperate with the ICTY.
The EC added that the cooperation was reviewed on a regular basis and resulting conclusions expressed in annual European integration progress reports on Serbia.
We support the work of the Tribunal and our position on full cooperation is clear. The court, however, must carry out its work independently, says EC spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.
She told Tanjug that the EC expected Chapter 23 in accession negotiations with Serbia to be opened as soon as the necessary consensus among the EU member-states is reached.
Diplomatic sources at the European Commission say that the EC is working with “a clear idea” and that all efforts are going towards opening new chapters in negotiations on Serbia’s membership of the EU as soon as possible.
The sources say that Croatia’s requests that are blocking the opening of Chapter 23 are unacceptable and the EC will not “modify” its position regarding any of these issues.