Zaev: Regional cooperation not substitute for EU membership

Zoran Zaev; Photo: Meta

SARAJEVO – The improvement of regional cooperation is not a replacement for EU membership, but a faster way to accomplish it, said Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev.

Zaev said that in an interview for regional television N1, answering the question whether or not he believes in a statement that Brussels wants to create a new Yugoslavia, as a replacement for EU membership of countries of the region.

„If we achieved better regional connectivity, all the Western countries would respect us more. Why? It would be easier for us to win those markets if are connected“, explained Zaev.

According to him, for the common progress of the countries of the region, politicians need to cooperate, like Bosniaks and Croatians cooperate in business, sports and culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina said Zaev.

„All of the problems are coming from politicians. Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted 3.000 decisions with consensus, despite ethnic problems. Let’s overcome those problems. Politicians should fight for the rights of other ethnic communities. That way, we could achieve the progress in the region“, concluded Zaev.

Talking about Macedonian membership in NATO and EU, as well as name dispute with Greece, Zaev said that the new government decided to settle all disputes with its neighbours.

„The relations with both, Bulgaria and Albania, and even with Greece are now excellent. We have decided to build good relations with all of our neighbours. We are asking for assistance in finding a way for Macedonia to come closer to the EU. We were granted the EU candidate status in 2005 and since then we are at a standstill. Greece will also benefit from Macedonia’s becoming NATO and EU member“, said Zaev.