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Landaburu: Slovenia's Goal to Conclude Negotiations by the End of 2001 is Optimistic

Ljubljana, 6 February - Membership negotiations with the candidate countries are expected to conclude by the end of 2002, so that the most qualified candidates could join the EU by the end of 2004, European Commission's Director-General for Enlargement Eneko Landaburu said as he wrapped up his two-day visit in Ljubljana on Tuesday. He did not rule out the possibility that the negotiations could be accelerated provided that the candidates do not require too many transitional periods and do not set demands that disagree with the acquis. "The European Commission considers Slovenia's goal to end the membership negotiations by the end of this year optimistic, but optimism is required," the EU official said, but could not say whether the goal is attainable or not.

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