Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-392"

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"Thank you very much, Ms Doyle, for your supplementary question. The Slovenian Presidency classifies countries in the western Balkan region according to the stage they have reached. In this case, the most advanced country of the region is Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because it is the only country which has been given candidate status. Croatia is excluded because it should be in a different category anyway, namely in the expansion category, because it is already negotiating for membership. I reiterate that, during our Presidency, we wish for every one of the countries, including the one in question, to make progress on its journey towards membership of the European Union, which will not happen soon, i.e. in a year or two, but will need more time and more effort. The Slovenian Presidency has placed this issue among its highest priorities. However, it is important to maintain the European perspective for those countries as well as their rate of progress towards this goal. I repeat that, as the Presidency, we would be very pleased if progress were to continue during our Presidency. I would like to repeat that this progress also depends largely on the countries of the region."@en1

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