Serbia's capital city, Belgrade.
The sooner Serbia joins the European Union, the better for the prosperity of the Balkans, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov told journalists in Brussels on December 11 2009.
Serbia was a European country and deserved to be part of the European family, said Borissov: "We will stand behind her and help her".
Borissov’s comments, in reply to a question from a reporter, came just a few days after Belgrade expressed anger at Sofia’s evidence in the International Court of Justice arguing in favour of the independence of Kosovo – a move that Serbia vehemently rejects.
By December 11, it was not known publicly when Serbia would lodge its formal application to join the EU.
On December 9, there was a step forward when EU ministers decided to unfreeze a trade agreement between the bloc and Serbia.
The same day, Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic said that in spite of widespread speculation that his country would apply before December 25 for EU membership, no decision had yet been made.
On December 11, Serbian news agency Tanjug – quoting an interview given by Jeremic to Reuters in New York – said that he had said that a decision on the application would be made "soon".
Jeremic said that EU membership was a central strategic priority for Serbia, but the country was getting mixed signals from EU member states about the timing of a membership application.