European Parliament calls for immediate negotiations start

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The European Parliament late last night reviewed the progress report on Macedonia on the plenary session in Strasbourg, MIA reports from .

The MEPs also debated the Montenegro and Bosnia&Herzegovina reports at the plenary session. During the debate, majority of MEPS focused on Macedonia’s Euro-integration process.

Macedonia Rapporteur Richard Howitt voiced satisfaction from his report, which urges the European Council to determine a start of the country’s accession talks without further delay.

Howitt insisted on ensuring the country’s progress, proposing to the European Commission to give Macedonia a status of “functional market economy”, thus guaranteeing the influx of foreign investments.

During the debate, Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, in the capacity of EU Presidency chairman, said the name issue was not a bilateral, but an international problem, which should be settled in line with the UN resolutions and the European law.

Venizelos reiterated that the block of the country’s Euro-integration process was not due to the name problem, but series of unfulfilled criteria. He said Athens accepted a compound name with geographic qualifier for all uses.

MEPS are set to vote later on Thursday on the Macedonia resolution, which also notes that bilateral problems should not hinder the beginning of the negotiations, although they should be settled before the end of the accession process.

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