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FYROM to start negotiations on membership

2009/10/14

Today the Commission has adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. Individual reports on the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate was also presented. These countries are Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.

The reports show that there are positive developments, notably in countries like Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. But the reports also convey that the Western Balkans and Turkey continue to face challenges when it comes to the rule of law and the fight against corruption.

I welcome the fact that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia now is recommended to start membership negotiations. It’s very positive that the country can continue the journey towards membership in the EU.

The continued enlargement process is of strategic importance to ensure peace and progress in an open, united Europe and the accession process provides strong encouragement for political and economical reform. It is therefore of central importance that the EU stands by its commitments and the established principles in the area of enlargement.

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