All EU countries agree that Northern Macedonia has given what was required of it and the Union now has a moral obligation to fulfill what it promised, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev today at the Alpbach European Forum, to which this year was dedicated to three issues: “Securing Europe ‘s future”, “Financing Europe’ s future” and “Climate change”, according to a government statement.
Through a teleconference, he participated in the panel “Prospects of Northern Macedonia” together with the EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina and Western Balkans dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak.
In his introductory speech, Zaev stressed that the country’s accession to the EU is the only perspective and without an alternative, despite the disappointment of Bulgaria’s veto on the European integration process.
“We are fully committed to this process because we are guided by European values which are also our values and which with all the policies we implement achieve Europeanization and this is our strongest motivation. “The goal of the Republic of Northern Macedonia is not membership, but achieving standards and implementing these standards in all sectors of our society,” Zaev said.
That the country is on the right track and that it meets all the criteria, Zaev added, was confirmed by the decision and recommendation of the European Commission to the European Council on March 20, 2020, supported by all EU member states, the first conference intergovernmental agreement with Northern Macedonia, the organization of which was later expelled from the Republic of Bulgaria.
“The EU has a moral obligation to northern Macedonia. All the reforms in the country have been implemented or are in progress, with our neighbors we resolved issues that were opened after several decades, such as the Prespa Agreement with Greece or the Good Neighborliness and Friendship Agreement with Bulgaria. “Northern Macedonia is a successful model of a functioning multinational community and a leader in regional co-operation, and with NATO membership we have become a factor of stability in the Western Balkans,” Zaev said.
Among the questions asked by the Forum, special attention was paid to the Open Balkans Initiative, which Zaev stressed was not an alternative to EU membership, but a process that accelerates the process of European integration in the region, linking the Western Balkans in line. with the circumstances. with the EU authorities and makes a major contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation.