European Union ministers tried Tuesday to give Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia a boost in their bids for EU membership and association, saying the bloc would consider opening rapprochement negotiations in the spring if appropriate reforms are implemented, DPA reported.
The promise for Macedonia is a "significant breakthrough," after Greece for years blocked any progress over a name dispute, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said. He said he hoped the move would prove to be an "opportunity" to settle the fight.
Serbia and Kosovo were praised for their renewed bilateral talks, with Fule calling the Serbian government "brave" and saying that "this time there is no mismatch between words and deeds."
Serbia is seeking EU membership, while Kosovo aspires to an association agreement - even though five EU countries don't recognize it as an independent country.