Petříček: Czech Republic to ratify NATO Accession Protocol by this summer

Petříček: Czech Republic to ratify NATO Accession Protocol by this summer
The Czech Republic’s Parliament will ratify the NATO Accession Protocol for North Macedonia by this summer at the latest, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told a news conference in Skopje with FM Nikola Dimitrov.

FM Petříček congratulated Dimitrov on the settlement of the name dispute with Greece, noting that the Prespa Agreement served as an example of how two governments could resolve a long-standing dispute.

He urged North Macedonia to pursue reforms and close all other outstanding issues, adding his country would help North Macedonia in every area requiring assistance in a bid the doors for EU membership to be opened after joining NATO.

The Czech Republic will share all of its experiences with North Macedonia to open negotiations with the EU.

“We can share our experiences from the EU accession process to point out to you which mistakes you shouldn’t make. The best way not to make mistakes is to learn from the mistakes of others,” the Czech diplomat said.

The two ministers also discussed reforms implemented by North Macedonia on its road to EU membership. The country, Petříček said, has until June, in time for the Council of the EU, to show its European partners that it is pursuing reform processes. He pinpointed the judicial system, namely the law on the public prosecutor’s office, as being a ‘problematic’ sphere that required hard work.

The new law, over which the ruling coalition and the opposition will set up working groups to iron out their positions, envisages the incorporation of the Special Public Prosecution into the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

We have a lot to learn from the Czech Republic’s experience on becoming a member of the EU, according to Dimitrov.

“The Minister was humble, he only mentioned the mistakes, but the Czech Republic had achieved a lot, in fact. There are also good examples as regards the Visegrad Group, whose members also include the Czech Republic. Regional cooperation in the Balkans is very important,” FM Dimitrov said mentioning that the Western Balkans Fund had been formed following the example of the Group.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Czech Republic and North Macedonia, he noted.

Dimitrov called the countries’ relations ‘close and friendly’, adding that they shared cultural and historical ties through the pan-Slavic mission of saints Cyril and Methodius.

Furthermore, the two ministers at their joint meeting discussed ways to increase trade and business cooperation. They signed a memorandum of cooperation between the two ministries enabling frequent consultations on matters of mutual interest.