06/04/2011 – BARROSO & FULE IN WESTERN BALKANS MAKING SEVERAL STOPS FOLLOWING FORMER YUGOSLAV 3-WAY SUMMIT

The Western Balkans and European integration will be at the top of the agenda for the meetings which have been scheduled between EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. The two high-level representatives will meet in Zagreb, then Sarajevo, Podgorica and Skopje. The importance of the entire region’s integration was already underscored at meetings held between Serb, Croatian and Slovenian leaders, which highlighted the improving relations among the countries created from the former Yugoslavia. Of those countries, only Slovenia has so far joined the EU. Croatia is looking to finalise accession negotiations; the process is scheduled to be brought to term by June, in order for the country to be added to the list of candidate countries by the end of the year. Bosnia, however, is gripped by a political stalemate, which hinders the prospect of European integration. This issue must be tackled since, as Mr Fule and EU Chief Diplomat Catherine Ashton pointed out, the country cannot afford to waste any time. Other issues to be addressed in light of a potential future loosening of EU accession negotiations include reform in Montenegro and Macedonia overcoming disputes with Athens over the country’s name.
Source: Vecchio sito IPA

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