Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Skopje hopes it will complete EU entry under Czech commissioner

Macedonia hopes it will start and complete its EU accession negotiations under Czech Stefan Fuele as the EU commissioner for enlargement, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said in Prague Tuesday.

Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer said he expects the enlargement process to become more dynamic under Fuele.

Fuele is a member of the new European Commission which the European Parliament approved Tuesday.

Gruevski and Fischer agreed that the main problem in Macedonia's effort to enter the EU, and also NATO, is its dispute with Greece over the former country's official name.

Gruevski said the dispute cannot be settled in a situation where one of the parties is unwilling to strike compromises.

Fischer said the Czech Republic is attentively watching the dispute.

Greece is opposed to Macedonia using the name Republic of Macedonia, saying this name exclusively relates to a region in northern Greece.

Gruevski and Fischer Tuesday signed a Macedonian-Czech agreement on cooperation in fighting crime.

At a Macedonian economic forum on Wednesday they are to sign an agreement on economic and industrial cooperation.

A bilateral agreement related to education is to be completed soon and negotiations on possible cooperation in the health sector have been underway, Fischer said.

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