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Serbia looking for EU membership by 2020

January 21, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — Prime Minister Ivica Dacic wants Serbia to become a member of the European Union by 2020.

The Serbian leader said at Tuesday’s start of membership negotiations he wants the Balkan nation to be fully in line with EU requirements by 2018, giving Serbia a two-year cushion before joining when the bloc enters a new budgetary cycle.

Dacic said that Serbians “are working to travel this road fast.” The 28-nation EU’s decision to open membership talks with Serbia acknowledges Belgrade’s efforts to improve relations with breakaway Kosovo and push through overall reforms. Serbia hopes that the talks will pave the way for foreign investment.

A vital breakthrough came in April last year when Serbia and Kosovo agreed to normalize relation, ending years of acrimony.

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