During his working visit to Brussels, President Stevo Pendarovski met today with the Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
In a meeting with European Commission Vice President and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Borrell, President Pendarovski said that in the past, Northern Macedonia has shown political maturity and maximum focus on achieving its European perspective. Stressing that the integration of Northern Macedonia is in the interest of stability, security and prosperity of the entire region, President Pendarovski stressed the need for the European Union to further strengthen its role, which will have a positive impact on the overall political process. , reform agenda and, in general, on optimism in the societies of the Western Balkan countries.
HR / VP Borrell reiterated the clear and undisputed perspective of Northern Macedonia in the EU and eagerly awaited the approval of the negotiating framework by the Council so that the first intergovernmental conference could be held as soon as possible. HR / VP stressed the importance of continuing to advance in EU reforms, especially in the rule of law, in the interest of the country’s citizens. He welcomed the country’s expanded record of approximation to EU foreign and security policy.
The interlocutors also referred to the situation in the Union and in Northern Macedonia, regarding the fight against Covid-19, as well as the immunization process. In this context, President Pendarovski welcomed the solidarity of the European Union and thanked for the support and general assistance in dealing with the pandemic, and expressed the expectation that by the end of August the vaccines that Northern Macedonia should receive through mechanisms within the Union will arrive.
The EU has provided unprecedented financial assistance and a strong partnership with the Western Balkans since the beginning of the pandemic and remains committed to helping the Western Balkans thereafter. In this regard, the EU has put on the table an Economic Investment Plan of up to € 9 billion to pave the way for more connected, green and people-centered growth in the Western Balkans.
HR / VP Borrell and President Pendarovski discussed geopolitical and regional developments and the privileged partnership between the EU and the Western Balkans. This included regional co-operation to help unlock economic potential and prepare the region for EU membership.
At the meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Sassoli, they exchanged views and information on the progress of Northern Macedonia in the main areas of reforms in the context of the European integration process, as well as on the current challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Both interlocutors stressed the extremely important ongoing communication of our institutions with the European Parliament, which lays a solid foundation for significant progress in the implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, as well as the process of integration and membership in the European Union. Expressing satisfaction with the strong and principled support of the EP in that regard, President Pendarovski stressed that the approval of the negotiating framework and the holding of the first intergovernmental conference in the near future, is our main priority.
President Stevo Pendarovski kicked off his working visit to Brussels earlier today with meetings with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Oliver Varhelyi and the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other regional issues. in the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak.
At a meeting with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Oliver Varhelyi, President Pendarovski expressed gratitude for his commitment and support in implementing the agreement on the distribution of 651,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the Western Balkans, of which Northern Macedonia will receive 119,000 vaccines. The President said it was essential to speed up the vaccination process in the coming period and enable life to return to normal as soon as possible, thanking the EU for its full support and assistance in tackling the pandemic. , as well as for demonstrated solidarity.
President Pendarovski welcomed the role of Commissioner Varhelyi in the preparation of the economic-investment plan for the Western Balkans by the European Union and stressed the expectation that its implementation will have a very significant positive impact on the socio-economic development of countries and strengthen regional cooperation.
The interlocutors discussed the possibilities for Northern Macedonia to move forward in European integration, in the context of future meetings within the European Union to be held in May and June this year, as well as bilateral issues related to good neighborly relations. At the meeting, opinions and information were exchanged on overcoming the problems with Bulgaria.
President Pendarovski and Commissioner Varhelyi stressed the importance of holding an intergovernmental conference soon and formally launching accession negotiations for Northern Macedonia’s membership in the European Union.
The meeting with the European Union Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and Other Regional Issues in the Western Balkans, Miroslav Lajcak, discussed recent developments in the region, as well as the challenges it faces in terms of regional stability.
The interlocutors stressed the importance of regional co-operation and the European Union enlargement process. In that context, President Pendarovski said that Northern Macedonia is ready to start accession negotiations with the EU./ ibna