Tuesday, December 12, 2006

EU calls Macedonia to press ahead with reforms

The Council of the European Union "welcomed the continued progress made by the Republic of Macedonia but regretted that the pace of reforms has slowed down in 2006", says the Council's announcement released late Monday from Brussels.

The Council's conclusions on Western Balkan include reference to Macedonia, saying that "the country needs to intensify its efforts in implementing the reforms of the police and judiciary, the fight against organized crime and corruption".

It also urges for securing "the independence and capacity of the public administration".

Furthermore, the EU Council urges Macedonia "to sustain its efforts in implementing the Ohrid framework agreement and in complying with the obligations of the Stabilization and Association Agreement".

The Council welcomed the political dialogue recently resumed by the government and the opposition, and encouraged the parties to step up their cooperation in order to further implement reforms.

The agenda of the external relations meeting of the Council of Europe, taking place on 11 and 12 December in Brussels, is based on the European Commission's Progress Reports covering Western Balkan's countries.

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