The early parliamentary elections in May 2008 led to the victory of the pro-European forces under President Tadic (DS) and a pro-western coalition government under Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic.
The Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union was signed on 29. April 2008 at the margins of the General Affairs/External Relations Council. However, it was at the same time decided that the ratification process in the Member States of the European Union shall commence only once the Council has unanimously decided that Serbia is fully cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. The Interim Agreement – after being unilaterally applied by Serbia – has entered into force on 1. February 2010.
On 22. December 2009, Serbia applied for membership of the European Union. On the 25th of October 2010 the council forwarded the application to the European Commission which will issue an “avis”, at the same time Serbia was asked to respond to a full encompassing questionnaire. In January 2008, Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements entered into force which i.a. allowed obtaining free visas for travels into the Schengen Area under certain conditions. Since 19. December 2009, Serbian citizens are entirely exempted from the short term visa requirement.