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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/141

(2001/C 26 E/175) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0994/00
by Ioannis Souladakis (PSE) to the Commission

(31 March 2000)

Subject: Procedures for implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

The recent adoption by the European Parliament of the Swoboda Report (1) on the negotiation of a
Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia establishes a
suitable framework guaranteeing the security and development of the country so as to allow FYROM
gradually to come into the European fold.

Will the Commission say what steps it intends to take next to implement in the near future all the
measures announced and promised in the Swoboda report for FYROM?

(1) Verbatim Report of Proceedings of 17 February 2000, p. 81.

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(23 May 2000)

The Commission has taken the necessary measures to ensure that Mr Swoboda’s report on a Stabilisation
and Association Agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is swiftly
followed up.

Firstly, negotiations were quickly started. Following the adoption of the negotiating directives by the
Council (General Affairs) on 24 January 2000, the Commission organised the first session of formal
negotiations (attended by delegations from the Member States) on 5 April 2000 in Brussels. A second
session should take place by the end of June. At the same time, technical work meetings between the
Commission and the relevant FYROM ministries are being held. In line with Parliament’s recommendation,
the text drafted by the Commission contains a series of measures on regional cooperation. The Stabilisa-
tion and Association Agreement with FYROM will contain a future developments clause which will reflect
the EU’s position on integrating the countries of the Western Balkans into its structures, as stated at the
Cologne and Lisbon European Councils.

Furthermore, Community technical assistance to FYROM will also take into account the priorities set out
in the context of the stabilisation and association process, for example the approximation of legislation
and cooperation on justice and home affairs. Community technical assistance programming for the 2000
budget year already incorporates these new priorities, which will also be reflected in the new programme
to succeed Phare in the western Balkans. In addition, FYROM benefits greatly from the European initiative
on democracy and human rights (Chapter B7-70) which includes several projects concerning FYROM,
notably on the development of civil society, the media, and enhancing the rights of national minorities.

Lastly, in line with Parliament’s request, the Commission upgraded its representation in Skopje to the
status of a delegation.

(2001/C 26 E/176) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0997/00
by Neil MacCormick (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(30 March 2000)

Subject: International trade  victims of the banana war

Small firms in the Union engaged in producing bath produces and other toiletries remain under heavy
burdens resulting from delay in concluding the banana war and getting US punitive rates of import duty
abolished. Will the Council request the Commission to take urgent steps to bring this unsatisfactory
situation to an end?