"Arresting Mladić not enough"
The European Stability Initiative head says he is "not sure" if arresting Ratko Mladić would suffice for Serbia to start membership negotiations with the EU.
But, Gerald Knaus told Novi Sad's daily Dnevnik in an interview, "it would certainly help Serbia become a candidate
"Kosovo is still a problem
," he elaborated, adding, "it will be hard for Serbia to join the EU unless it first solves the Kosovo question.
Knaus, described as "one of the most influential analysts of the Balkans in the EU institutions
", also said that the atmosphere within the EU has changed in the past six months.
"Serbia would've progresses fast toward the EU had Mladić been arrested last summer, while this is now uncertain.
He also said that "the enthusiasm to speed up Serbia's EU integration is on its way to being lost despite the two presidencies this year that very favorable toward Serbia
" – those of the Czech Republic and Sweden.
The EU, Knaus continued, is "very disappointed with Belgrade's results
". The reason for this, according to him, is that "Serbia is not helping find a solution for Kosovo, and the EU has no solution
"We are all aware of Belgrade's position on Kosovo, but at the same time Serbia must help the European Union develop Kosovo and send a signal that it wants the EU to succeed in Kosovo, regardless of the status issue.
"If, along with that, Mladić is arrested, then I believe Serbia will once again have a momentum with the EU, as was the case half a year ago," Knaus concluded.