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Serbia eligible for EU in 2009 if legal conditions met: draft report

[JURIST] A draft of a European Commission [official website] report obtained by a Serbian newspaper this week has confirmed that Serbia [JURIST news archive] should remain eligible for candidacy within the European Union in 2009 provided the country continues to make progress on fighting corruption, forming an independent judiciary, and complying fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Serbia’s previous attempt to obtain candidacy stalled in 2006 [JURIST report] when the EU criticized Serbia’s inability to find known war criminals within its borders. This latest EU report appears to acknowledge the steps Serbia has taken towards bringing war criminals to justice, most notably the July capture of Radovan Karadzic [JURIST report]. The final report is scheduled to be released November 5. RIA Novosti has more. From Serbia, B92 has local coverage.

Concerns about corruption and the apprehension of war criminals have been a consistent obstacle for other Balkan countries, such as Croatia [JURIST report], which have sought admission to the EU. Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Croatia are all EU candidates, but only Turkey and Croatia are moving forward in the accession process.

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