Zaev – Juncker: Towards the EU without delay but only with deep internal reforms

Juncker and Zaev; Photo: European Commission

SKOPJE – Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, after meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, who has been visiting Macedonia, announced that “according to the Strategy, the EC confirms a European future for Macedonia, as a geographical part of Europe, which will become part of the political structure of the European Union”.

At a joint press conference, Prime Minister Zaev stated “a strong desire and commitment to deep internal reforms, without delay, with leadership and determination, to move this key section along the road to our accession to an EU member state”.

“Now, more important acomplishments are expected to be achieved in order to make 2018, a historic year for Macedonia. From the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, we expect an innovative Agenda to be forthcoming, following the Thessaloniki example, which will clearly pave the way for accession to the EU, based on the proposals produced by the Strategy. The summit will also be a real indicator of how many EU Member States are willing to dedicate themselves to the accession process for the countries of the region”.

Zaev is confident that in June 2018, the Council will decide regarding the commencement of accession negotiations.

EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Macedonia is not only part of Europe geographically, but also historically. The European Union is not only a community based on common economic interests, but more importantly, it is a union of common values. Those values are shared and strengthened by our state.

According to Juncker, Macedonia has surprised the world with the implementation of reforms, and if we continue along the same path, we will give the European Commission an opportunity to present to the Council a recommendation for a start of negotiations in a few months.