Macedonia not on European Council's June 27-28 meeting agenda

By bne IntelliNews June 20, 2013

The European Council will not discuss conclusions or a date for opening accession talks with Macedonia at its meeting scheduled for June 27-28, state news agency MIA reported. The Irish presidency announced that the EU Summit will only discuss the possible setting of a date for accession negotiations with Serbia. MIA quoted an unnamed source as saying that the EU member states voiced a stance that now it is not the time a progress to be made about Macedonia.

The political crisis in the Balkan country has most likely influenced this position. The instability deteriorated significantly after the December 2012 events in the parliament and the tensions eased at the beginning of March following EU-sponsored talks. In addition, the lack of progress in the area of good neighbourly relations remains the key obstacle on Macedonia’s road to EU membership.

Macedonia was granted a candidate status in 2005. So far, the European Commission has made four recommendations for launching accession talks with Macedonia, but Greece has been vetoing the adoption of the decision due to the name dispute.

Meanwhile, MIA reports that the setting of a date for accession negotiations with Macedonia will be discussed in the autumn and a possible decision may be made at the EU Summit in December.

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