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Estonia Supports Choosing Start Date for Accession Negotiations With Serbia and Macedonia*

23.04.2013

Nr 133-E

“The agreement between Serbia and Kosovo regarding the northern part of Kosovo is vital to the future stability of the region,” Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said in Luxembourg today at the meeting of the European Union ministers of foreign and European affairs. Estonia would like for a date to be set to begin European Union accession negotiations with Serbia.

Paet said that the agreement achieved on Friday in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina creates a foundation for them to progress in their European Union integration, though now it is equally important for the agreement on normalising relations to be implemented by the governments. “This requires the government of Kosovo to have a dialogue with the Serbian population there,” Paet explained. “Reaching an agreement required willingness to compromise and difficult decisions from both sides, and we hope that their dialogue has been an important step in developing good-neighbourly relations,” he added.

“Considering the agreement reached on the topic of northern Kosovo, and based on the European Commission report on Kosovo, we find that negotiations should begin to conclude a stabilisation and association agreement with Kosovo,” Paet noted. “We would also like for a date to be set for the start of European Union accession negotiations with Serbia,” he stated.

The Estonian foreign minister said that Estonia would like for European Union accession negotiations to also be started with Macedonia. Paet said that, like the European Commission report on Macedonia, we feel that aside from some problematic areas progress has generally been made, which in Estonia’s opinion is reason enough to begin accession negotiations. “Starting negotiations would give Macedonia a clear signal that their efforts to join the European Union are carrying them forward and inspire them to resolve the remaining issues,” Paet stated.

“Estonia supports the European Union enlargement policy, which addresses each aspiring member state according to its progress and accomplishments,” the foreign minister emphasised.

* Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Additional information:
Helen Ennok
Press spokesperson, Estonia’s Permanent Representation to the EU
+32 474 98 16 57

 

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