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Luxembourg, 22 April 2013
Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following the General Affairs Council
''Today is a historic day for both Serbia and Kosovo*, as well as for the European Union.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and myself have issued today joint reports on the progress in European integration made by Serbia and Kosovo, only hours, indeed, after Belgrade and Pristina confirmed their agreement to the landmark deal struck on Friday in the EU-facilitated dialogue.
I want to congratulate here both Prime Ministers and their teams. This ground breaking agreement would not have been possible without their courage and commitment during difficult negotiations. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to Cathy Ashton and congratulate her for the tireless personal investment and perseverance in helping the agreement come about.
Given the progress achieved, the Commission has recommended to EU member states that negotiations be opened with Serbia on EU accession, and with Kosovo on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU.
Serbia and Kosovo have proved they can both focus on the future rather than staying entangled in the past. Our recommendations today are therefore clear: both Serbia and Kosovo deserve to move on decisively in their EU perspectives. This is good news for the people in Serbia and Kosovo, and in the whole region.
In making these recommendations, we confirm that Serbia has met the political criteria and that Kosovo has met the short-term priorities linked to the SAA.''