Osmani: Macedonia will succeed to finalize EU accession talks by 2025

Vice PM for European Affairs Bujar Osmani briefed Monday in Brussels the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, about Macedonia’s progress in implementing the necessary reforms on the road to EU membership.

‘The (reform) plan 18 has already been adopted by the Government and its implementation, for now, is going smoothly. I expect for all key areas to be addressed on time and hence conditions to be created for confirmation of the decision on starting the negotiations,’ Osmani told Hahn.

Osmani also referred to the progress in implementing the reforms in key areas, especially after the   unblocking of Parliament’s work and its first green light for constitutional changes, the Secretariat for European Affairs said in a press release.

‘The Parliament gave its first green light for the constitutional changes in accordance with the Prespa Agreement, which has not only opened the way for implementing the obligations of this deal, but also created conditions for accelerating the reform process in the country in line with the conclusions of the European Council of June 2018’, Osmani said.

He also notified the tangible progress in the relations between Macedonia and Greece relations. In this respect he mentioned the inauguration of the Skopje-Athens flight after a 10-year break, an agreement between the two countries on the trilateral initiative between Macedonia, Greece and Albania for the sustainable development of the Prespa region, as well as the initiatives for strategic partnership with Greece and its support of Macedonia’s EU-integration.

Osmani also briefed Hahn about the progress in setting up the negotiating structure for the start of the accession talks.

Macedonia, Osmani said, has been making progress in implementing the reforms, priorities and recommendations related to the EU accession process; the obligations under the bilateral agreements with Bulgaria and Greece and in advancing the relations with the neighbors. Hence he voiced belief that Macedonia would succeed to join EU Western Balkans Enlargement Strategy, which sets 2025 as a date when any of these countries could join the European Union provided they meet the criteria for membership.