Greece, Austria in Balkan integration plan

Austria and Greece have started an initiative for getting all Western Balkan countries into the European Union by 2014.

These two countries submitted a letter to EU Foreign and Security Policies Chief Catherine Ashton and EU member-state foreign ministers, stating that it is their goal to get all the countries of the region into the EU by 2014, the 100-year anniversary of the start of World War I.

Austria’s Foreign Ministry told Tanjug that the initiative is based on an agreement made last week in Athens between the Austrian and Greek Foreign Ministries on a concrete initiative for speeding up the integration of the Western Balkans.

The letter states that the two countries support the fast ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with Serbia. It also recommends that the EU should take steps regarding Belgrade candidacy status, for which Serbia submitted a request in late 2009.

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