No EU agreement with Serbia without ICTY cooperation

The member states of the European Union cannot be expected to ratify a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia until the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) reaffirms that Serbia is doing everything in its power to arrest the two indicted war criminals who are still at large, particularly Ratko Mladić.

This message was conveyed in a letter to the Dutch parliament by Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen. At the insistence of the Netherlands, the EU has agreed to refrain from submitting the SAA to the national parliaments for a vote until prosecutor Serge Brammertz has expressed satisfaction with Serbia’s continued cooperation with the ICTY.

‘It is vital that Serbia continue to work with the Tribunal and do everything it can to arrest the fugitives,’ said Mr Verhagen. ‘If the prosecutor reaffirms to the EU foreign ministers next Monday that Serbia is cooperating, the Netherlands will consent to the submission of the SAA to the national parliaments.’

Last December Mr Brammertz expressed satisfaction with Serbia’s cooperation with the ICTY. At that point the EU foreign ministers decided to allow the interim SAA to enter into force. Croatia’s cooperation with the ICTY is another item on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council. The Netherlands will continue to urge Croatia to keep looking for missing documents that have been requested by the ICTY.