Relations between the EU and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) ought to be stepped up via a Cooperation Agreement. This is the message the new Macedonian Prime Minister, Ljubco Georgievskin, had to convey during his meeting, on December 9 in Brussels with the European Commissioner for External Relations, Hans van den Broek. Elected to run the centre-right Government last October, the Macedonian Prime Minister vigorously defended his country's plans to strengthen ties with the EU by promoting a political dialogue and conclude an Association Agreement at the earliest opportunity: "We have impressed upon our partners the reasons we want to enhance our relations and our willingness to remedy any failings", the Macedonian leader told journalists. European Commissioner van den Broek said he understood these aspirations but pointed out the Cooperation Agreement between the two sides only came into...

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