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FM Poposki: Delaying of Macedonia’s EU accession talks not in favor of name row settlement

April 11, 2012

MIA, 11.04.2012

Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki urged Wednesday in Brussels for swift opening of Macedonia’s EU accession talks, saying that any further delay of this process will not contribute to settling the name issue.

In spite of the European Commission (EC) recommendations three years in a row for opening of Macedonia’s EU accession talks, the process has been blocked due to the name issue with Greece, Poposki said at the conference ‘Balkans – Moving Towards  European Integration’, organised under the auspices of MEP Joseph Daul, Chairman of the European People’s Parties (EPP) Group in the European Parliament.

In the meantime, Poposki said, Macedonia has commenced a high-level accession dialogue with the European Commission, which is not a replacement for the official membership negotiations. Greece, as a supporter of the EU enlargement process, may contribute substantially to revitalizing the European prospect of  Balkan countries, he said.

The Balkan European perspective has been making significant contribution to the transformation and democratization of the societies of the countries in the region, Poposki said. However, the EU must preserve the credibility of the enlargement process with and keep the momentum in all countries of the region, thus contributing to Europe’s stability and prosperity, he added.

Today, Poposki held talks with the Director-General of EC DG for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefano Sannino, focused on further activities within the high-level Macedonia-EU dialogue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. Macedonian Government has already drafted and will soon adopt the Operational Roadmap – a time schedule for each reform activity, agreed with the EC, Poposki told Sannino.

Sannino hailed the Government’s swift reaction and commitment to define and implement the national reform agenda for EU membership. He believed the Operational Roadmap would set a solid foundation for monitoring Macedonia’s progress within the high-level dialogue, which is to hold its second meeting on May 7, the press release reads.

Poposki also had meetings with several MEPs, including the EP Rapporteur on Macedonia, Richard Howitt.

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