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Slovakia: EU Gives Bratislava Until November To Implement Reforms

Bratislava, 18 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A joint EU-Slovak parliamentary committee concluded its three-day session in Bratislava today, declaring that Slovakia has one last chance to join open talks on entering an expanded European Union.

The committee gave Slovakia until the end of November to implement specific changes in domestic policy.

EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek last month gave a similar deadline to Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.

The joint committee is composed of deputies of the European Parliament and of Slovakia's ruling coalition and opposition parties. They unanimously adopted three recommendations today: resume political dialog between the ruling coalition and the opposition; ensure opposition participation in special control committees to oversee intelligence activities; and prepare legislation on the use of national minority languages -- all by the end of November.

If these criteria are met, the committee says, Slovakia will be able to join other countries in opening talks on EU membership.