GERMANY: EU ACCESSION TALKS PARALLEL WITH VISA LIBERALIZATION
The recommendation for start of EU membership talks for Macedonia has been qualified by German parliamentarians as an optimistic step, however they consider that date is lacking. They consider that talks should start in parallel with the visa liberalisation.
This is report that brings optimism but lacks date. I expected that Jan. 1, 2010, when visa liberalisation should start, would be date for start of EU accession talks, Walter Colbo, German MP and Chairman of German – Macedonian Association for Cooperation, said.
Colbo for Radio Deutsche Welle – Macedonian Language Programme, said that the progress in Macedonia is noted, EC recognised the achieved progress, implied the start of talks but the term lacks.
Nevertheless, this report brings Macedonia closer to the EU and intensive work on softening Greece’s resistance in relation to name dispute is expected. This is a most important short-term task. I consider that this is serious obligation of the heads of government. First men of the governments should meet soon and try to resolve this problem mutually, Colbo said.
He also said that there are other obligations and the country should continue to work good as previously. He recommended internal political situation and political culture to be achieved, which will confirm implementation of Ohrid Framework Agreement but also the rule of law. So, after resolving the name dispute, the internal political stability will exist which understandably will lead to receiving date for start of EU entry talks, Colbo assessed.
Jürgen Klimke, MP of the Faction of the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag, said that the report is good signal for Macedonia but pointed out that it cannot be read quite optimistically. The document confirms status quo of the situation. On the other hand it reads that Macedonia is on a good path to be part of the EU, which is confirmed with visa liberalisation and on the other hand it points out that the country must continue to be committed for example on surpassing economic and financial problems. Klimke said that very important improvement which is ascertained by Transparency International is ranking of the country from 105th to 67th position, which means that potential exists which is very important signal.
Olli Rehn once again said very clearly that bilateral difference as name dispute must not and should not be an obstacle for start of EU entry talks, Angelika Beer, former MEP and expert for foreign and security policy, said, pointing out that Macedonia deserves to start EU entry talks in parallel with the visa liberalisation on Jan. 1, 2010.