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Šefčovič: Schengen enlargement problems will be solved

Comments that up to nine EU-15 member states haven't met the conditions for enlarging the Schengen zone shouldn't be taken too seriously, Slovak Ambassador to the EU Maros Šefčovič said on July 13.

He was reacting to statements made by the Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer at the two-day Salzburg Forum conference in Austria dealing with enlarging the Schengen zone.

According to Langer, computer network testing showed nine Schengen zone members are not ready for the enlargement.

So far, only the new EU member states planning to join the Schengen zone have been criticised for not being prepared enough.

According to Šefčovič, the early results came from an unofficial testing.

"The official assessment is to begin soon and I believe that any minor imperfections will be improved in order to ensure that the system works well," he said.

With respect to security at the Slovak-Ukrainian border - the biggest challenge for Slovakia - Sefcovic said the EU assessment committee in charge of that recently finished its inspection at the border.

Slovakia is to join the Schengen zone as of January 2008.

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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