THE Serbian President, Boris Tadic, travelled to Stockholm this week to present his country's formal application for membership of the European Union to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt of Sweden which holds the presidency of the EU until 31 December when it passes to Spain. With this application all of the members of President Tito's Yugoslavian Republic have turned to the EU. Slovenia is already a member, Croatia is likely to be the next to gain admittance and Bosnia and Kosovo put their names down earlier this year. Boris Tadic told Mr Reinfeldt: “Europe, for us, signifies values and tolerance, peace and mutual respect and commitment to lasting democracy.” Mr Tadic is a reformer in the mould of Zoran Djindjic who deposed Slobodan Milosevic and his “Greater Serbia” ambitions in 2000. Nonetheless Serbia has the most difficult task of the other Balkan state applicants to persuade the EU that it is a fit and proper potential member. The killing of eight thousand Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 -- the biggest single massacre of civilians in Europe since 1945 -- was carried out by two Serbian leaders only one of whom, Radovan Karodzic, has so far been arrested and put on trial. The arrest of General Ratko Mladic who was military commander at Srebrenica by the Serbian authorities, or evidence of his death, is an essential prerequisite for the start of negotiations for EU status.


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