The European Parliament (EP) approved a resolution by Slovenian lawmaker Zoran Thaler on Wednesday (February 10th) which recommended the EU to set dates for start of membership talks with Macedonia. The draft was supported by 548 lawmakers, 45 voted against it and 35 abstained. The document recommended that Macedonia quickly settle its name dispute with Greece. Without a solution to the issue, it will not be possible to start negotiations with the EU over the next 6 months, Spanish Minister of State for the European Union Diego Lopez Garrido said.
EP lawmakers also adopted the resolution on Croatia’s progress, which said that accession talks with the country might end by the end of this year if all criteria are met. The document was supported 582-24, with 37 abstentions.
Separately, the lawmakers also approved a resolution on Turkey — urging the country to ease local restrictions on civil liberties and settle its long-standing issues with Cyprus. The parliament urged the country to improve the rights of women and of its Kurdish minority, adopt a new law on increasing press freedom and withdraw its troops from northern Cyprus. “Progress in terms of concrete reforms remained limited in 2009,” the resolution said, urging Ankara to “translate its political initiatives into concrete amendments.”