June 15, 2010
We heard several good news concerning enlargement. The Union is to open membership talks with Iceland, it agreed to open the last and most contentious chapters in Croatia’s accession talks, and it unblocked Serbia’s Stabilisation and Association agreement, at last.
The EU also made gestures with regard of two of its less advanced hopefuls, as it is preparing to lift lift the visa barrier for citizens of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Macedonia has still to find a solution to its ‘name dispute’ with Greece, and Kosovo is awaiting the decision of the International Court of Justice with regard to its status. In the meantime, Turkey appears to be preparing for a visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, seen as a ‘make or break’ milestone.
But as a whole, enlargement appears to stand higher in the EU agenda than it had been over the last couple of years of the Barroso I commission. As I see it, the event that greatly favoured this auspicious atmosphere was the Slovenian referendum on the border dispute with Croatia.
The referendum was narrowly won by 51.5% of the Slovenes who voted. The gloomy mood about Europe’s greatest project ever was changed completely by a handful of people…Georgi Gotev