Serbia will apply next week to join the European Union, a decade after the end of the Balkans wars, a Serbian government official said on Friday.
Serbia's "Council for EU Integration will soon recommend this to the government and we hope it (the government) will make the formal move early next week", the official said on condition of anonymity.
Serbia's path to the EU membership has been stalled due to its failure over genocide charges such as, to arrest ex-Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, who is sought for genocide by the U.N. war crimes court.
A European diplomat said Belgrade's application was expected to be forwarded to Sweden, which holds the rotating presidency in the bloc, on Tuesday.
When asked in Brussels about Serbia's possible EU application, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country will take over the EU presidency for six months from Jan. 1, told a news conference: "I guess they will apply quite soon."
But, Serbia has still to adopt many laws to get in line with European regulations, officials say.
The process was significantly delayed last year due to filibustering by nationalists in the parliament, but it picked up pace after changes in parliamentary guidelines.
Netherlands still waits to see Mladic, sought for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, first extradited to the Hague tribunal.
Last Mod: 18 Aralık 2009, 14:53