"The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier."
Well, Bismarck always was a cynic - but he was no fool. And now, more than a century after his death, he is still worth listening to. Especially now that the EU is considering expansion in those very same Balkans to embrace Serbia.
Serbia has applied to join the European Union, and the EU seems to be looking favourably on the idea. So much so, in fact, that the EU is turning a blind eye to some distinctly non-communitaire behaviour on the part of the Serb government.
Serbia began its membership negotiations in 2003. The first step is a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA). This involves the EU offering tariff-free access to some or all EU markets, plus financial assistance. In return the candidate country is expected to make commitments to political, economic, trade or human rights reform.