BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders are expected to formally grant Serbia the status of a candidate for membership in the bloc during their summit on Thursday.
The move would represent a remarkable turnaround for Serbia, which spent much of the 1990s ostracized and isolated from the EU after it instigated the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 to prevent a crackdown on ethnic Albanians there.
EU foreign ministers recommended earlier this week that Serbia be granted the coveted status after saying it had fulfilled conditions set by the 27-nation bloc.
Serbia had been widely expected to get candidacy in December after it captured two top war crimes suspects, but was disappointed when Germany delayed the move, saying it wanted to see more progress in talks with Kosovo.