European Western Balkans

Mogherini in Skopje: Confident that reform-oriented determination will continue

Federica Mogherini; Photo: Buglarian Presidency

SKOPJE – Following the Commission recommendation for the Council to open accession negotiations with Macedonia, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in Skopje recognised this as an achievement for all the institutions in the country, the civil society and the citizens. She invited both government and opposition to ‘join forces for the coming steps to be taken’.

“You are back on track and the assessment that the European Commission has made, merit-based, is that the conditions that were put last time have been met”, the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said following the meeting with Zoran Zaev, the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “This is a major achievement you have to be proud of, you can celebrate – for half a day – and then go back to work”.

This was a joint result for both the government and the opposition, she said, underlining how this also meant sharing the responsibility for the future, particularly with regard to maintaining and deepening the reforms. These reforms aim to bring European standards, advance developments in economy, trade, governance, and improve the quality of life for every citizen of Europe.

High Representative also acknowledged the steps country had made in addressing regional dynamics and bilateral relations with its neighbours, particularly the positive developments in the country’s relations with Bulgaria. Additionally, she said the EU encouraged the negotiations with Greece and was ready to accompany this process.

Speaking before the Parliament on 19 April, High Representative appealed to the collective responsibility of all political parties to work together to achieve results on the upcoming work. “Expectations are high that this spirit, this method of uniting forces on some national priorities can continue. This is the strongest sign of maturity in a democratic system”.

She also met with the President Gjorge Ivanov, the opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski and the Vice-President of the Assembly Goran Misovski, and attended an informal meeting of the Western Balkans Prime Ministers hosted by Prime Minister Zaev on 18 April.

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