EU officials: SAA should be ratified

EU senior officials for foreign policies and enlargement, Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fule, said that the integration of the Western Balkans must be supported.

Ashton, who is the EU official for EU foreign and security policies, and Fule, the European Commissioner for policies towards new member-states and cooperation with Eastern European neighbors of the Union, stated that the integration of this region must be sped up.

They both submitted a written presentation of the program for their future work to the European Parliament.

Fule stressed his desire to begin the ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) between Serbia and the EU.

A number of meetings will be held in Brussels with the newly-elected European Commission members, who will answers questions of the European MPs and present their programs and goals in order for them to be approved by the European Parliament.

Fule said that, taking into consideration the newest progress of Serbia in the implementation of the interim trade agreement, he wants the ratification process for the SAA to begin as soon as the summer of 2010.

“That will result in the beginning of a new era in relations between the EU and Serbia,” Fule said.

He said that he is “committed to use all available instruments of the EU to make Kosovo’s integration easier, without prejudging the question of its status.”

He also said that “preparations should be made for the completion of a full, objective and strict opinion to be given on the candidacy of Montenegro and Albania.”

Fule said that Croatia should be closing its membership negotiations with several more reforms to be made in the legislature, and that Macedonia should receive a date for beginning negotiations with the EU as soon as its dispute with Greece regarding its name is solved.

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