Tuesday, December 13, 2005

EU member states are due to decide during December on whether to grant candidate status to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Enlargement, lent his strong support on December 8 to the Commission's proposal that it should be considered a candidate, but without any date set for the start of negotiations. And the EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting in Brussels on December 5-6 also backed the idea, arguing that it would "not only encourage the country to achieve further results in the reform process, but also strengthen stability in the region and send a clear message that progress made is rewarded". Meanwhile, the Austrian Presidency of the EU – which will run from January to June 2006 - has already included the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in its priorities.

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