Summary: EU Council Conclusions on the Western Balkans (12 February 2007:Brussels)
2780th EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"The Council welcomed the visit of the EU Troika to Belgrade on 7 February. It called upon the political leaders in Serbia quickly to form a government committed to reform and a European future. The Council remains fully committed to Serbia's EU perspective and is ready to work with such a new government towards this goal. Serbia remains welcome to join the European Union. Recalling its conclusions of 3 October 2005, the Council welcomed the Commission's readiness to resume negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with a new government in Belgrade provided it shows clear commitment and takes concrete and effective action for full cooperation with the ICTY. In addition, the EU welcomes the significant progress achieved in the negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission and looks forward to concluding them soon. The EU is ready to consider other concrete measures which would help Serbia to integrate swiftly into the family of European nations.
The Council expressed its full support for the UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari and his efforts in conducting the political process to determine Kosovo's future status. His proposals presented to both parties on 2 February provide comprehensive arrangements designed to promote in Kosovo a multi-ethnic and democratic society based on the rule of law. They include extensive measures to safeguard the future of all communities living in Kosovo, especially the Kosovo Serbs. The Council believes that the proposals create the basis for Kosovo's sustainable economic and political development and for strengthening the stability of the entire region. The proposals represent the result of one year of intensive negotiations including direct talks between the two sides. The status process has now entered its decisive stage. The Council welcomed Martti Ahtisaari's intention to engage the parties in a period of intensive consultations with a view to achieving further progress in a spirit of compromise on the basis of his proposals. It strongly urged Belgrade and Pristina to participate actively and constructively in these consultations.
The EU stands ready to play a significant role in the implementation of the status settlement. The final decision on the status of Kosovo should be endorsed by the UN Security Council. The Council decided to intensify the preparation for a future EU and international presence in Kosovo in coordination with other international actors. It invited the HR/SG and the Commission to submit a further report on the state of these preparations."