European Western Balkans

Zaev, Tusk: Bilateral issues should not hinder Euro-integration process

Zoran Zaev and Donald Tusk; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The new government is prepared to lead a dynamic reform process towards restoring the recommendation for opening of Macedonia’s EU accession talks by the end of 2017. It is also important to have the European Council’s support in finding solutions by which bilateral issues should not represent a long-term obstacle to the Union accession process, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told European Council President Donald Tusk during a meeting in Brussels on Monday, Government of Macedonia stated.

Zaev thanked Tusk for the positive signals from the European institutions in support to Macedonia’s Euro-integration process.

“This is a strong incentive for the government to deliver the required reforms, in cooperation with Brussels, towards unblocking the recommendation for the start of EU accession talks. I hope the Council will accept the conclusions in December, leading to the opening of accession talks. We are ambitious because a lot of time has been wasted in Macedonia’s Euro-integration process”, stressed Zaev.

Tusk welcomed the government formation, saying this is an excellent opportunity to move the process of the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration forward.

In addition, he expects that Macedonia will improve its image through committed efforts, interethnic and inter-partisan dialogue and good neighborly relations.

PM Zaev is accompanied by Vice Premier and Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, Vice Premier for European Affairs Bujar Osmani and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

During the visit to Brussels, Zaev also met with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. Later today, he is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

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