BRUSSELS – High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi commended the citizens of North Macedonia for exercising their right to vote in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to working with a strong parliament and a stable coalition government that should deliver on the country’s strategic objective of EU integration and address citizens’ expectations. We are committed to continue responding jointly to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences”, reads the statement released by Borrell and Várhelyi.
The High Representative and the Commissioner stressed that they expect the authorities to continue to deliver on the country’s EU commitments, to sustain and accelerate the implementation of EU-related reforms, in particular in the field of rule of law, fight against organised crime and corruption, as well as to further strengthen good neighbourly relations.
“The European Union will continue to support North Macedonia on its path to the EU and looks forward to holding of the first Intergovernmental Conference as soon as possible”, the added.
Borrell and Várhelyi also noted the preliminary findings and conclusions of the international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which assessed that the elections were generally well run amid adjustments in response to the pandemic and the campaign was genuinely competitive, but legal stability was undermined by substantial revisions to the legal framework and subsequent government decrees.
Once the OSCE/ODIHR issues its recommendations for future elections, the European Union expects all political actors, relevant institutions and stakeholders to continue to work together to implement those recommendations well ahead of the next elections, the statement stressed.