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EU committee approves treaty with Bulgaria and Romania

THE PARLIAMENTARY Committee for European Affairs approved the EU's accession agreement with Bulgaria and Romania on July 20. At the same time, it recommended that parliament ratify the basic document enabling further EU enlargement, the TASR news wire wrote.

Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan said that the early ratification of the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the EU would be a positive move and have a positive influence on Slovakia's bilateral relations with those countries. Their entry is scheduled for January 1, 2007.

The EU is to make a final decision on the entry of both countries at its summit following the European Commission's assessment report next year. Two weeks ago the Commission issued a warning to both Bulgaria and Romania over delays with certain reforms.

The EU accession talks with Croatia should start in September before the beginning of the talks with Turkey on October 3, according to Kukan.

"It's obvious that Croatia is better prepared than Turkey," Kukan said.

Accession talks with Croatia were originally scheduled to begin in March. However, they were postponed due to the country's unsatisfactory co-operation with the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte recently expressed appreciation at Croatia's progress but stated that full co-operation still isn't taking place.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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