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From the official web-site of the Dutch EU presidency: EU Foreign Ministers discuss European perspective of Serbia and Montenegro/Kosovo

Published date: 08.09.2004 15:21 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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The EU continues to strongly endorse the existence of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, but wants to be realistic when it comes to practical issues, said the Dutch Foreign Minister, Bernard Bot, at a press conference on the second day of the Gymnich meeting.

The EU Foreign Ministers discussed the progress the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro is making with regard to the European integration perspective.

We spoke about ways to set the State Union firmly on the path towards the EU, said Minister Bot, explaining that the EU is still following the policy of the Belgrade agreement.

The EU agreed to look, in particular, at the internal market and economic harmonization between Serbia and Montenegro.

In order to find some practical solutions for economic issues, the EU will follow a twin-track approach.

Minister Bot explained that this twin track approach should prevent Serbia and Montenegro from lagging behind in the Stabilization and Association Process.

On Kosovo, the Ministers took stock of current events and agreed on the importance of making clear the European perspective. This requires on the one hand the participation of the entire population in the upcoming elections and an increased effort to provide protection for those who wish to cast their vote, stated the Minister.

The control function of the UN in Kosovo should be strengthened and the EU should work closely with the Special Representative of the UN, Mr. Jessen-Petersen. While keeping the standards before status policy intact, the standards may be prioritized, said Minister Bot.

The minister stated that refugee return, protection of minorities, decentralization and the strengthening of local institutions are more important than some other standards and need to be realized in the near future.

Taken from the official web-site of the Dutch EU presidency: www.eu2004.nl