Belgian Prime Minister: Balkan countries to join EU only by meeting all requirements

Current EU presidency holders Belgium is clear that the future of all the Balkan countries is Europe, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said. But any candidate EU member must earn its membership by meeting all requirements, he noted.

On Wednesday in Strasbourg, Leterme presented his country’s EU presidency platform before the European parliament, and exchanged opinions with European MPs.

In the weeks and months to come, we will see what progress can be made by Croatia, Iceland and others, the Belgian prime minister said.

Leterme added that he had met with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski on July 6, saying it was very clear that there were specific issues surrounding the Balkan country’s name, which, though currently blocking progress, could be resolved.

In the case of Turkey, he said, the proceedings have been initiated, but possibilities for further progress need to be considered.

At a joint news conference with European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Leterme said the EU had to judge the results of every country aspiring to membership individually, on a state by state basis.

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