Sunday, May 11, 2008

EU hopes to start negotiations on Macedonian membership bid in '08

The European Union said Wednesday it hopes accession talks with Macedonia can start this year but said the Balkan nation needs to make further reforms.

Janez Lenarcic, State Secretary for European Affairs from Slovenia, which holds the rotating EU presidency, told the European Parliament that administrative reform and minority rights issues had to be resolved first. Macedonia has been a candidate for membership since 2005.

"Stability is a decisive factor in this region," said Lenarcic.

His comments came as Macedonia's ruling conservative party said Wednesday it would support a motion to dissolve parliament, signaling an early general election.

"The political crisis, early elections, perhaps these are things that will slow down the reform process," Lenarcic said. He said he counted on the country's citizens to "remain united and work toward a common future within the EU and trans-Atlantic organizations."

The earliest Macedonia could start negotiating with the EU is at the end of the year, after the EU's executive Commission reports on the country's progress.

Lenarcic said Macedonia's name dispute with Greece, which cost it an invitation to join NATO at a summit last week, had to be resolved as soon as possible.

Greece blocked Macedonia's invitation to NATO on the grounds that the country's name implies a territorial claim to a northern Greek province called Macedonia.

Lenarcic said the EU would like to see Macedonia as a NATO member alongside Albania and Croatia, who were both invited.

Dutch lawmaker Erik Meijer, who drafted a separate report for the European Parliament on Macedonia's progress, called on Skopje to grant ethnic Albanians full language rights.

In the report, he said discrimination against the Roma — another large ethnic minority in the country — continued in education, health care, employment and housing.

To join the bloc, EU candidates must be democracies, have functioning market economies and a clean human rights record.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the question is how can be given accession talks to the FYR-Macedonia,
bevor the dispute with Greece is not resolved?To become an EU-member means you want to join a "club" of friends!
And I,as a greek, I don't consider the FYR-Macedonians as friends and I think the People of FYROM have shown more than clearly what they feel,by burning the greek flag,which is s sign of barbarism ald lack of civilisation!
As long you hate the Greeks,
you can't hope to access the EU and you can't realy want it!
The EU is a "dream", afuture projection,which unites people!
Your country live in "false" past,seeks its roots in another country,wants to appropriate the History of another nation,which has a large historical existence, a huge cultural inheritence and let whole Europe to be part of it!
As long you claim,you are descedants of the ancient Macedonians and you try to change your history and your language,
it would be impossible to become EU-meber!
Do you realy think EU will accept you with these claims and this name,abandoning the greek ojections?Greece is an old member of the EU(since 27 years) and the most important eu-partner in the balkan area!
Not everyone in the EU lacks historical Knowledge!No one will allow you to "rewrite" european History!
I am sure,even you hear to what your own officials like ex-President Gligorov said:“We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century ... we are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians" (Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992, p. 35).

b.Also, Mr Gligorov declared: "We are Macedonians but we are Slav Macedonians. That's who we are! We have no connection to Alexander the Greek and his Macedonia… Our ancestors came here in the 5th and 6th century" (Toronto Star, March 15, 1992).
even you hear and "digest",you will need a long long time to find the right way to the "lost friendship"
to the Greeks!
We are neighbours,you want to access the same allies where we are already part of!Your way to this goes through Greece!
You have to take the right logical and historical steps now!
Do it before it will be to late!
If you continue to confuse your people about its ethnic origin,you will lost every single chance to save your future....