Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, whose country now holds the rotating EU presidency, has pledged to speed up the EU expansion process. However, at a joint press briefing with the visiting Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman, the Swedish head of government said that it was premature to set a deadline for the end of accession talks and that much depended on the preparedness of individual candidate states. We believe that setting a timetable at this point could be de- motivating, the Swedish Prime Minister noted. The Czech head of government said his country was aiming for EU admission at the beginning of 2003, which meant a clean desk by the end of the previous year.
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