EU membership candidates will be appreciated

Who will become the 28th member of the European Union and when? The European Commission is preparing to publish an annual report on the situation in countries that have begun rapprochement with United Europe.

Closest to the European threshold is Croatia; judging by preliminary reports, they can give a “green light” to complete negotiations on accession in 2009.

This ends the positive part of the report.

Macedonia, which received candidate status in 2005, the EU still does not set a date for the opening of negotiations.

As for Turkey, with which negotiations were started, then suspended, then reopened, the European Commission will recommend to it to activate human rights reforms – a condition for accelerating negotiations with Ankara on its admission to the EU.

A special place in the report is given to Serbia. This country can obtain candidate status in 2009 if it continues to actively cooperate with the Hague Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

As for the timing of real EU accession, Brussels does not make forecasts regarding Macedonia, Turkey and Serbia.

With respect to Croatia, the outlook is clearer; this country, according to the EU, could join Greater Europe in 2012 if it succeeds in intensifying the fight against organized crime.

The recent murder of media tycoon Ivo Pukanic is one of the latest high-profile crimes in Croatia over the past year.

In this regard, at the beginning of the month, the ministers of internal affairs and justice, as well as the head of the national police, were fired.

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