Cvetan Nikolovski cvetan at dem.org.mk
Sun Dec 18 02:10:57 CET 2005





The Sun, too, is a star!


European leaders decided early Saturday at the meeting in Brussels to grant
Macedonia EU candidate status.

In the conclusions adopted at the end of the two-day EU Summit, the Union
leaders saluted "the significant progress" of the country in the fulfillment
of the political and economic membership criteria, underlining that a lot
has to be done in the future in order to meet the European standards.

Furthermore, the conclusions include France's request for opening a debate
in the EU regarding the future EU enlargement. "The European Council
believes that the future steps would have to be reviewed in a debate focused
on the enlargement strategy", reads the document.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose country is the current EU chair,
confirmed the positive decision of the European leaders at a press

"The vision of the EU is united Europe. Macedonia is part of that vision",
Blair stressed.

Following the candidate status, the Union must set a date for beginning of
accession talks encompassing all aspects of EU membership within 32
chapters, including trade, environment, competition, health etc.

The candidate country should harmonize its legislation with the EU one. The
process of becoming EU member could last for several years.

Macedonia submitted its application for EU membership on March 22, 2004 in
Dublin. The answers to the Euro-Questionnaire were handed over to European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on February 14, followed by the
positive "avis" regarding the application on November 9.

Skopje and Brussels established diplomatic relations by the end of 1995.
Macedonia was the first country in the region to sign the Stabilization and
Association Agreement in April 2001.


Source: Macedonian Information Agency

Cvetan Nikolovski




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