EUROPA - Rapid - Press Releases
In a highly important move, the European Commission has now recommended that Macedonia be given the status of a country that is a candidate for membership in the European Union.
After the referedum debacles of late spring, the entire future enlargement process has been in doubt. But since then accession negotiations have started with Croatia and Turkey, and now it's official that Macedonia is next in line to open formal talks.
That's a most important signal that will be heard loud and clear throughout the entire region.
But the Commission isn't recommending immediate accession talks. There are a number of reforms still needed in Macedonia. A new assessment of these will be made a year from now, and that means that accession talks can start in 2007 at the very earliest.
Much depends on what will happen in the meantime in Macedonia, in the region and - not the least - in the European Union itself.
But it was a good day for Europe and the Balkans