European Western Balkans

EU: No consensus to open chapters 23 and 24 with Serbia

TANJUG_maliBRUSSELS – Sources from the Council of the European Union confirmed this for Tanjug. “There is still no agreement. This issue will now have to be dealt with by the Slovak presidency of the EU,” an EU official told the agency. Serbian minister without portfolio in charge of EU integration Jadranka Joksimovic is in Brussels this Thursday, and is expected to address the media later in the day.

Unofficially, the lack of consensus on the eve of today’s meeting of COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union) was “not a surprise” to Serbia.

The Netherlands had hoped to open these chapters during its presidency of the EU, which ends on Thursday, but consensus of all member states has not been reached, a representative of the Dutch presidency told Serbian state broadcaster RTS.

EU ambassadors will, however, discuss chapters 23 and 24, as they meet today – but will only be able to conclude that due to Croatia’s opposition, the intergovernmental conference where the chapters would have been opened will not be held today, despite earlier announcements.

Earlier in the week, it was reported that both Croatia and Britain were blocking Serbia – the former for “essential,” and the latter for “technical” reasons.

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