Hahn: EU door is open, decision depends on you

The door of the EU remains wide open for Macedonia and it’s up to you to seize the opportunity. It is up to you to decide on the future of your country, EU Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn said Tuesday in Skopje who officially launched the preparatory process for opening EU accession negations.

The door of the EU is wide open thanks to the urgent reform priorities that the government has been working on over the past year, but also on agreements on good-neighbourly relations treaty with Bulgarian and name agreement with Greece, Hahn said.

“The people showed resistance and endurance, you became an example in the region and a model how others to resolve bilateral problems,” Hahn said at the joint press conference with PM Zoran Zaev.

The agreement with Greece, he added, is a contribution for prosperity, peace and stability not only in Macedonia, but in the whole region.

“It is up to you to decide on the future of your country, in a free and sovereign way. The citizens should make the final decisions, to exercise their democratic right and to vote in the upcoming referendum,” Hahn noted.

He congratulates on recent invitation by NATO, underlining that it will mean more security and prosperity for the citizens of Macedonia.

The Government at its today’s session, which was also attended by Hahn, adopted decision with which it launches the screening process towards opening EU accession negations.

The Government appointed Deputy PM for European Integration Bujar Osmani as chief negotiator, while Prime Minister’s advisor Bojan Maricic as technical negotiator.

“Today, with EU Commissioner Hahn we defined the next steps towards screening and preparatory work for the EU accession negotiations. We have established common dynamics of negotiations by setting up negotiation structure on our and their side. Hahn presented fundamental screening plan, and we adopted conclusions, PM Zaev said at the joint press conference with EU Enlargement Negotiations Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

The Government mandated the Secretariat for European Affairs together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare a draft concept on EU negotiations by the end of July.

Zaev underlined that EU negotiations are a historic task and a top priority.

“Therefore we send a message that the process will be led by the Government, but it will also include the Parliament, the opposition, the judiciary, the civil society … Macedonia is moving forward, Zaev said.