16 October 2009

EU Ambassadors urge name row settlement, though it is not part of membership criteria

The name dispute settlemnt is not one of the criteria for Macedonia's accession to the European Union, but it will however create more favorable climate for the resumption of the country's integration process, said Swedish, EU Ambassadors Lars Freden and Erwan Fouere respectively.
- This is a golden opportunity for boosting the efforts towards settling the name row. It seems that the picture is clearer now. Now (the country) should only focus on name talks, not those related to the benchmarks, Freden said Thursday, presenting the European Commission (EC) report on Macedonia's progress towards the EU membership to relevant parliamentary committees. Fouere quoted yesterday's statement of the Union's Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, who said that the EC report should be a strong incentive and encouragement for country leaders to seriously engage in the negotiating process under the UN auspices and achieve results.
Freden welcomed the positive EC report on Macedonia and the recommendation for launching of the country's entry talks on behalf of the Sweden's EU Presidency. He reminded that the final decision in this respect was to be made by the Union's Council with consensus. He also expressed hope for the decision on abolishing the EU visa regime for the citizens of Macedonia to be confirmed on December 1, considering the ongoing activities of Union's institutions in this respect. Meanwhile Greece had sent a protest letter to the EU for their decision to begin accession talks with Macedonia.

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