European Western Balkans

Zaev: I expect exact date for the beginning of negotiations

Zoran Zaev; Photo: European Commission

SKOPJE – Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev expects the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to give a precise date today, when Macedonia would receive an unconditional recommendation for the beginning of negotiations with the EU.

Juncker’s tour through the six Balkan countries begins today with Macedonia. He will have a meeting with Prime Minister Zaev, President Ivanov, also a plenary meeting with the EU delegation is due to take place.

Juncker and Zaev will then hold a press conference.

Responding to a journalist’s question during a visit to the Konche municipality, Zaev said that Juncker’s visit is a further encouragement.

“Once again, I expect encouragement as a result of the strategy that President Juncker announced. For us, this encouragement, means serious motivation, to complete the reforms in accordance with the “3-6-9” Plan, to continue all those processes of improving the overall quality of life, because we are convinced that Europe will give us a date for negotiations only if we deserve it, or, to become a member of the EU, only when the standard of citizen’s life is approximately equal to the standards of EU citizens. I expect this encouragement, and for us it means the date of the recommendation for starting of negotiations, but at the same time also encouragement, so that in June there will be a possibility to have a date for starting negotiations, allowing access to additional European funds for Macedonia,”, Zaev said.

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