Saturday, September 16, 2006

Macedonia first to be absorbed in next wave of EU enlargement

Macedonia will be the first to be absorbed into EU in the next wave of the club enlargement, if the country keeps its present fast pace of progress, a Macedonian newspaper on Friday quoted an EU high official as saying.

Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, made the announcement in Brussels in his meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Dnevnik reported.

"I don't believe that it is the right moment to speak for concrete date for your membership," Solana said. "But we are open to the Balkan states and we think they should become EU member states."

"Your country is keeping up a fast pace and if it continues like that, it will be one of the first on the list and that is beyond any doubt," he added.

Macedonia was granted candidate state to the EU in December 2005.

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