Macedonia’s EU integration progress and the European Commission’s Western Balkans Enlargement Strategy, due on Feb. 6, was the main topic of discussion at a meeting of Deputy PM for European Affairs Bujar Osmani with Michael Linhart, Secretary-General of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, as part of Osmani’s visit to Austria.
In the meeting, Osmani briefed his interlocutor about the country’s progress in implementing reforms included in the 3-6-9 Plan and in addressing political challenges. “For this, we expect firm and unequivocal messages as part of the Enlargement Strategy to make Macedonia’s EU perspectives visible,” he said, the Secretariat for European Affairs (SEA) said in a press release.
Not only Macedonia, but also the countries in the region, he noted, have great expectations from the EC Enlargement Strategy.
“Both Macedonia and the Western Balkan countries can and should be part of the solution, they shouldn’t be part of the problem,” stated Osmani.
He also said that the credibility of the European perspectives of the Western Balkans helped not only the countries themselves maintain their course towards reforms and adoption of European values, but also helped them contribute to the overall stability of Europe.
The Deputy PM said that Macedonia was preparing to exhaust all opportunities stemming from Bulgaria’s presidency with the European Council and the Sofia summit, a forum of crucial importance for the enlargement process slated for May.
“We are very hopeful about Bulgaria’s presidency with the European Council, and we also have positive views about Austria’s presidency this year,” Osmani said adding he hoped Austria would continue to champion the enlargement process and to support Macedonia and its EU integration bid, stated the press release.