European Union foreign ministers are recommending that Serbia be allowed to become an official candidate for membership of the bloc after the country reached a key agreement with its former province of Kosovo.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tweeted congratulations to Serbia after a meeting of the EU's 27 foreign ministers.
Nicolai Wammen, minister of European affairs for Denmark, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said Serbia had fulfilled the conditions demanded by the bloc.
The final decision on the coveted status will be made at a summit this week of EU leaders.
Serbia had been expected to be made a formal candidate in December, after it captured two top war crimes suspects.
But ministers delayed, saying they wanted to see more progress in talks between Serbia and Kosovo.