Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Fyrom Wants Date for Eu Entry Talks Included in Commission Report

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Fyrom Wants Date for Eu Entry Talks Included in Commission Report

Article excerpt

The EU is calling on the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to step up the pace of reforms to meet conditions under which accession negotiations can be opened "as soon as possible". It welcomed the resumption of cooperation between the government and the opposition on the implementation of the country's EU agenda and urged political forces in Macedonia to continue the dialogue.

"Although some progress in some areas has been achieved, and there is a commitment to continue the process of reforms, some further work must still be done. We encourage the government of FYROM to do that," said Portugal's State Secretary for European Affairs Manuel Lobo Antunes. He was speaking at a joint press conference with FYROM Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Milososki and DG Enlargement'saDeputy Director General Jan Truszczynski, following a Stabilisation and Association Council meeting on 24 July in Brussels. "We hope that in a not very distant future the Commission can tell the Council that it is in a position to set a date," added Antunes.

"The Macedonian government is making all necessary efforts to provide the Commission with visible and tangible results that will allow them in this year's report to recommend the opening of accession negotiations with us as soon as possible," said Milososki. The government in Skopje intends to open accession talks with the EU next year. "We are prepared as a country and that is 50% of the necessary requirements," said Milososki, emphasising that the "opening of negotiations would serve as a mobilising instrument for domestic reforms and an encouragement for other countries in the region". …

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