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Speech – Remarks at the press conference following the General Affairs Council on Enlargement

December 15, 2012

Reference: SPEECH/12/940 Event Date: 11/12/2012
Other available languages : None

European Commission

Štefan Füle

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy

Remarks at the press conference following the General Affairs Council on Enlargement

 

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – here I particularly welcome the positive Council conclusions. This constitutes a significant breakthrough in relations between the EU and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and moves us on from the static language of the last four years.

The Council has recognised the hard work and substantial reform progress that has been made throughout the year within the framework of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD).

The breadth of discussion at the Council and level of engagement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia demonstrate the genuine interest that Member States take to advance the country on the European path. The conclusions have set out a very real and attainable perspective for the opening of accession negotiations in the very near future.

Looking, ahead, the Commission will start working on the report that the Council has tasked us to prepare.

It is essential in this respect that momentum be maintained in all areas so that the country can meet its full potential and so that accession negotiations can be opened in Summer 2013.

Let me underline that I hope this new and ambitious language will be taken and understood as opportunity to find a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue and to close this chapter which was left open for too long to the detriment of the people of the countries in that region.

Source: Europa, 11.12.2012

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