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NEWS BRIEFS

Slovakia now on 26 of 30 EU chapters

SLOVAKIA closed another two areas of talks with the EU on entry yesterday, bringing the country to within four 'chapters' of the total 30 legislative dockets required, and putting it ahead of neighbours Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

The chapters closed included Cooperation in the Area of Justice and Home Affairs, as well as Institutions.

The agreements require Slovakia to bring its regulations in such areas as security, border control, visa policy, migration, combating organised crime and money laundering into line with EU rules.

They also provide that Slovakia will have 13 seats in the expanded European Parliament and one European Commissioner, the same number as Denmark and Finland, for example.

While the country will be required to apply the same measures on its eastern border with Ukraine as are used on the EU's outer 'Schengen' border immediately after entry, it will not immediately join the Schengen 'family' of nations, and Slovaks will continue to have to show passports on entering Austria until five years after EU entry.

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