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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.10.09: German coalition keeps cautious Turkey line - 0 views

  • Germany's new conservative-liberal coalition has decided to support 'open-ended' EU-Turkey negotiations and favour a 'privileged partnership' in case they fail, it emerged on Wednesday. The deal is a compromise between calls to reject Ankara's EU bid, coming from chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian sister party (CSU) and the Turkey-favourable stance of her liberal junior partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
  • Ms Merkel was a strong supporter of the 'privileged partnership' before becoming chancellor. She now maintains that Turkey must fulfil accession criteria and also that the EU has to honour its commitments. But if negotiations were to fail, the coalition agreement is likely to say that Turkey could be offered a 'privileged partnership.' The wording of the coalition agreement is very similar to the one Ms Merkel negotiated with her former government partner, the Social Democratic Party.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.10.09: 2009 EC report: positive outlook for Serbia - 0 views

  • The European Commission (EC) last week gave a thumbs-up to Serbia's implementation of European standards on the road to EU membership and called on the Union to implement its Interim Trade Agreement with Serbia. Serbia signed the accord and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU in April 2008. Both agreements were suspended pending Serbia's full co-operation with The Hague tribunal. Currently, the only EU member blocking the Interim Trade Agreement is the Netherlands, which demands that fugitive Ratko Mladic be apprehended and extradited.
  • Serbia, however, still has some work to do. The country must take a more constructive stance on Kosovo, pass the Vojvodina Statute, combat corruption and crime, continue with judiciary reforms, enhance the rights of minorities, and help bring those that attack journalists, human rights activists and members of the gay and lesbian population to justice. Tomislav Nikolic, leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, also noted that European officials reprimanded Serbia's excessive budget spending, adding that if the trend continues, "Serbia will be heavily indebted with no advantage of becoming an EU member." Tanja Miscevic, head of the Serbian EU Integration Office from 2005 to 2008, also expressed restraint in assessing the report.
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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.11.09: Regional fallout from Macedonia name dispute - 0 views

  • Media reports citing unidentified senior sources in Brussels are claiming that the European Commission is to urge Athens and Skopje to come up with a solution to the dispute about the use of the name Macedonia by December 7 2009 – failing which Macedonia may find its hopes for an early start to EU membership talks receding. Macedonian foreign minister Antonio Milososki has written to European Union foreign ministers urging them to support the opening of EU membership negotiations with his country. He cited the European Commission’s recommendation to this effect. "The opening of negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia would substantively encourage the other countries in the region to further pursue pre-accession reforms and it will furthermore confirm the credibility of the EU’s enlargement policy," Milososki said in the letter
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