Belgrade not ready for EU talks


SERBIA IS not yet ready to begin formal European Union accession talks, the EU Commission has said, because of continuing tensions between Belgrade and Kosovo.

In its report on states lining up to join the EU, the EU executive said Belgrade had to make greater efforts to reform its justice system and protect the independence of its central bank.

Serbia won the coveted status of EU candidate state in March but needs the commission’s green light to start actual talks, in a process likely to take years.

“Steps leading to the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and [Kosovo capital] Pristina should also be addressed in the context ... of further accession negotiations with Serbia,” said Enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule.