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No new conditions imposed on Serbia's membership bid: EU envoy

(Xinhua)

14:30, March 27, 2012

BELGRADE, March 26 (Xinhua) -- No additional conditions would be imposed on Serbia's membership bid for the European Union (EU), Vincent Degert, head of European Union Delegation in Serbia, said on Monday in Belgrade.

Degert said Serbia had made significant reforms to receive candidate status for the EU in early March, but noted that additional progress might have to come after the formation of a new government.

Serbia is currently in the midst of a nation-wide election campaign with the election slated from May 6, reported the Serbian news agency Tanjug.

"The message from the EU is clear, and it is that we want to see Serbia progressing as quickly as possible," said Degert.

With respect to the contentious issue of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, which has been recognized by most EU member states, but rejected by Serbia, Degert said a continuation of the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade was one of the major issues on the path to EU membership.

"Now we have to consider further steps that should be the start of negotiations," Degert said, adding that the most immediate topics of discussion were energy and telecommunications.

Degert said that there are a number of fundamental reforms in Serbia need to be further implemented, including the ownership rights and competitiveness in the marketplace. With respect to the judiciary, Degert said the outstanding issue remains the lengthiness of the process.

As with many countries, the adoption of legislation and decision making must wait until after the elections, said Degert, adding that "before us are two months of waiting."

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