Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Presidency Urges Skopje to Stay on Euro-Atlantic Course

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/fyrom : Presidency Urges Skopje to Stay on Euro-Atlantic Course

Article excerpt

The Slovenian EU Presidency urged the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) not to back out from the UN talks on the name issue' with Greece and called on Skopje to continue EU-related reforms despite a negative decision taken at the NATO summit last week on the country's membership of the alliance.

"The EU Presidency called on the FYROM today not to lose sight of its strategic national goal of joining the Euro-Atlantic integrations, which is essential for the country's future, as well as of great importance for the entire region," a statement, issued on 4 April, said. In absence of a compromise on the name dispute with Skopje, Greece vetoed the FYROM's invitation for joining NATO at the alliance's summit held on 2-4 April in Bucharest. Consequently, only two other Western Balkan countries, Croatia and Albania, were granted invitations for membership from the 26-nation Western defence alliance.

This decision should not, according to the EU Presidency, put the FYROM's Euro-Atlantic integration drive "under question". On the contrary, "all political leaders in the country, both in government and in opposition," should "look to the future in confidence, remain united behind the national consensus on joining the Euro-Atlantic integrations," the Presidency added.

The EU fears that the disappointment in the FYROM sparked by NATO's refusal could divert the country's efforts from joining both clubs, as well as bolster anti-Western and nationalist forces in other Western Balkan countries, including Serbia, which is facing early parliamentary elections next month. …

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