news 19 Nov 12

Gotovina Verdict to Impact Serbia's EU Integration

Serbian politicians believe that the acquittal of two Croatian generals by the Hague Tribunal will not contribute to reconciliation and European future of the region.

Danas, Beta
Belgrade

Suzana Grubjesic, the Serbian deputy PM in charge of EU integration, said that the Hague Tribunal's acquittal of the Croatian generals, Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac, will have negative effect on Serbia's further EU integration process.

"It would be unfair to say that the verdict will not affect Serbia's EU integration. The process of reconciliation and cooperation in the region will slow down after this verdict," Grubjesic told the local media on Monday.

On Friday, the Appeal Chamber of the Hague Tribunal ruled that Gotovina and Markac were not guilty of killings, deportation and inhumane treatments of Serb civilians during the Croatian military operation codenamed "Oluja" ["Storm"] in the summer of 1995.

Milica Delevic, the president of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration, said that "the judgment will not contribute to reconciliation and improving relations in the region, which is the essence of the European future of the Western Balkans."

"We have lot of unresolved issues that will not be easily solved in this new situation which is reawakening nationalistic passions," Delevic added.

Serbia became an EU candidate in March 2012 and is hoping to get the date for start of the EU accession talks in December.

According to the recent research entitled "Citizens of Serbia between EU, NATO and Russia," conducted by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, BCBP, only 47 per cent of citizens now want Serbia to join the EU.

The opposition Democratic Party of Serbia, DSS, went much further saying that Serbia should cease talks with the European Union and declare political neutrality following the Hague verdict.

"We had enough of humiliation for the sake of the EU," the Democratic Party of Serbia stated on Sunday.

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