Czechs want to be ready for EU membership by 2002

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Czechs want to be ready for EU membership by 2002 The Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan and the EU's commissioner for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen, have agreed to work towards completing accession talks in 2002, which would enable the Czech Republic to join the European Union in 2004. Mr Verheugen said he expected significant progress in the harmonisation process during the current Swedish and the upcoming Belgian presidency of the EU. The Czech Republic has now completed talks on 13 out of 30 chapters of EU legislation. One of the main stumbling blocks in negotiations remains the free movement of labour. Some EU countries, notably Germany and Austria, favour a moratorium of up to seven years on the free movement of labour from candidate countries after enlargement.