21 OCT 2010
By Zeljko Pantelic | WAZ/EUobserver
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and heavyweight member states are determined to move Serbia's application for EU membership forward to the commission before the foreign affairs council meets next Monday (25 October).
They are pushing for advancement despite strong resistance from the new Dutch government, EU sources told WAZ.EUobserver.
The European Commission will then produce its 'avis,' an official opinion, on Serbia's readiness to become an official EU candidate, raising hopes that planned direct dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina will start soon.
The ball is now entirely in the EU's court, as all other parties have completed their parts of the bid. Serbia has agreed a joint UN resolution with the EU on Kosovo and is ready to start talks with Pristina. The US has persuaded the Kosovar leadership not to delay dialogue with Belgrade, despite the prospect of early Kosovo elections. And Pristina has committed to talks with the Serbs to discuss everything except its independence, which is considered irreversible.
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