Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Macedonia Still Not Ready to Open Negotiations with the Eu

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Macedonia Still Not Ready to Open Negotiations with the Eu

Article excerpt

'Macedonia needs to regain its reform impetus as was observed in 2005,' said Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn on 20 November after a meeting with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Milososki.

'There has been some progress achieved in recent years. However, the pace of reforms slowed down in 2006. Therefore, Macedonia needs to re-launch its full determination to pursue reforms and focus, in particular, on the implementation of recently adopted reforms, such as the modernisation of the police force,' said Rehn. 'Moreover, Macedonia needs to step up reforms in the area of the judiciary, including, in particular, the fight against organised crime and corruption and must improve the country's administrative capacity,' he added. 'These requirements need to be met before we are able to take any further steps regarding the Macedonian [EU] accession process,' emphasised Rehn.

To date, the Commission has not specified any specific date for accession negotiations with Skopje to be launched. During his visit to Brussels in September, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski called on the European Commission to set a specific date in early 2007 for the negotiations to start. However, Brussels is staying noncommittal in response to this request. The Commission's recent annual report on the progress of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia towards accession, published on 8 November, does not recommend opening negotiations with Skopje. …

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