Dublin (24th May) – The progress of the candidate and aspirant countries from the Western Balkans as well as the current challenges in the enlargement process were the main topics Commissioner Štefan Füle was talking about in Dublin on Friday. He attended the conference ogranised by the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU dedicated to the ten years since the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki.
Brussels (22 May 2013) - The Spokespersons of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, issued the following statement today: "High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle take careful note of the arrests and detention yesterday of the former Prime Minister of Georgia, current Secretary-General of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili, and the former Georgian Health Minister, current governor of Kakheti, Zurab Chiaberashvili. The European Union will closely follow the legal proceedings against them, which it expects to be fair, transparent and independent, in full accordance with international standards. The High Representative and the Commissioner underline their expectation that the Georgian authorities will pursue justice in these cases, as in all other cases, imparti
Customs legislation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is well aligned with the body of EU law. But further measures are necessary. That is why, with the help of EU experts, the Macedonian customs legislation and procedures were assessed, and evaluated against the requirements of EU law.
Even though it is one of the oldest industries in Serbia, agricultural production still faces several weaknesses and gaps in its value chain. Producers are constantly facing new requirements for food safety and quality standards in the processing sector yet there is a lack of demonstration centres for training and support for new initiatives.
Designation of National Reference Laboratories is one of the requirements of EU legislation on official food and feed controls. In Turkey there was a need for a National Reference Laboratory to provide a higher quality food safety system and guidance for alignment with the relevant standards. The project was launched in 2005 to fill this gap and meet EU accession requirements.
For many years Albania has struggled to police effectively its maritime borders. Illicit trafficking has constituted a security threat to Albania and to its neighbours. The Albanian capacity to patrol its maritime borders remains a major concern, although the government’s efforts together with a strong international presence at sea, have had a positive impact.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina Central Bank (CBBH) has contributed to the country’s post-war recovery. It has made significant progress towards introducing administrative and policy mechanisms that will allow it to participate fully in the European System of Central Banks when Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes an EU member.
There are around 430,000 people with disabilities in Croatia, 9.7% of the total population. The Ears Wide Open project was designed to improve working conditions, communication and integration of students with hearing and other disabilities, both in schools and later in workplaces.
Teaching children about the environment is vital for the future. That is why the EU, together with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, organised a project around a play based on the brochure
"Let me tell you a secret about the environment".
Kosovo faces a big challenge in the field of energy efficiency due to low levels of energy production and high levels of energy consumption. The EU funded a project to invest in energy-saving measures in public buildings, which brought
environmental and economic benefits.
Montenegro's preparations for European Union accession in the area of free movement of goods are moderately advanced. The country needs to build up its institutional and administrative capacity, enhance cooperation between State institutions and align its legal framework with EU legislation.