The Austrian chancellor has said that it could be possible for the southeastern European countries to the join the European Union by 2014.
Speaking after a meeting with southeastern European leaders on Wednesday, Wolfgang Schüssel said that the "biggest success is that the region is out of the headlines," according to Austrian newspapers. Erhard Busek, the special coordinator of the Stability Pact for the Balkans region said "the priority of EU enlargement is southeastern Europe, there is no other direction."
Romania and Bulgaria are already set to join the EU in 2007. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro are also on the periphery, having been told that EU membership is a definite prospect. "The process of European unification will not be completed unless the countries of the western Balkans become members of the European Union," said former European Commission President Romano Prodi last year. (EUobserver.com)