Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-11-25-Speech-3-053"

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"( In December, the European Council will address very important issues. This will be the first Council meeting after the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and my colleagues in this House have already spoken about what those issues will be. Personally, I would like to draw your attention to one very important issue that sometimes tends to be overlooked but which concerns the stability of Europe and the European Union as a whole: and that is the issue of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The FYROM has been a candidate country for the past four years and, over the past 18 years, it has been in a virtual frozen conflict with Greece, its southerly neighbour and a long-standing member of the European Union. This means we could be said to have a frozen conflict in the heart of Europe. This year has been a very successful one for the FYROM. In 2009, the FYROM made significant progress. It has received a positive report from the Commission, which recommended that the Council give this country the go-ahead to commence negotiations on fully-fledged membership. On 20 December, it will have its visa requirement lifted and, a short while ago, we had elections in Greece. I call on the representatives of the Council and the Commission, on the one hand, and on the Member States, on the other, to lend support to Prime Ministers Papandreou and Gruevski, these courageous two men, so that they can finally find a solution and so that the FYROM can join the large family that is Europe."@en1

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