Thursday, February 11, 2010

MEPs recommend opening of Macedonia's EU accession talks without delay

The European Parliament on Wednesday adopted by an overwhelming majority of votes a resolution on Macedonia's progress towards the European Union membership.

The resolution was carried with a vote of 548 in favour, 45 against and 35 abstentions, Radio Deutsche Welle - Macedonian language program reported.

EP rejected an amendment to the Resolution, submitted by Greek MEP Maria Eleni Koppa, requesting erasing of a part of the document that emphasis the crucial role of the governments in Western Balkan in the region's peace, security and stability, as well as the one of the EU institutions, asking them to carefully consider the consequences of their decisions and actions.

In this respect, the Resolution expresses concern about the delay of the Council of the EU's decision on the future phases of Macedonia's EU-integration process, which may deteriorate the interethnic political tensions in the country and have unfavorable implications on the entire region. In other words, the MEPs have decided to exert pressure on all parties in favor of Macedonia's progress on the road to the Union's membership.

Today's EP debate on Macedonia, Croatia and Turkey was in the best manner summarised by Diego López Garrido, Spain's Secretary of State for the European Union.

- In regard to Macedonia, the debate has been mainly focused on the name issue. It is not a Copenhagen criterion, but it is clear that good-neighborly relations are important for all countries, Garrido said.

German MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis urged top officials from Macedonia and Greece to resume their high-level meetings in order a solution to the name row to be found.

Slovakian MEP Eduard Kukan urged EP to strongly support the European Commission recommendation for opening of Macedonia's EU accession talks and by endorsing the resolution to send a positive signal to both the country and the region.

Our expectations are clear: Croatia's to wrap up while Macedonia to open the negotiations this year, German MEP Bernd Posselt said.

The goal of the report and resolution proposed by Thaler is, as he said, "to help Macedonia to make headway on the road to stability and EU membership and to help Greece in solving the name issue".

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