Osmani: Macedonian negotiating team to be unveiled by July 17

The last few days represent a historic breakthrough in Macedonia’ Euro-Atlantic integration process, after the country received a timeline for the start of the accession negotiations – June 2019, said Vice Premier for European Affairs Bujar Osmani on Saturday.

“This decision by the European Council clearly recognizes our progress and definitely closes the issue of Macedonia’s European future,” Osmani told a press conference.

Macedonia should compose its negotiating team by July 17, including a political and technical negotiator. Taking into consideration the country’s waiting time for the start of the negotiations, Osmani said Macedonia’s administration is quite prepared for the negotiations, which is a very expensive process.

“We will have to produce names by July 17, when the screening process is to be launched. This includes the chief political negotiator and the technical negotiator. The Secretariat for European Affairs remains the main coordinator of the political negotiations, while a decision over the technical negotiator will be taken in the coming days,” said Osmani.

The political negotiator will coordinate ministries, while the technical negotiator is to sync working groups.

The Vice Premier also announced enhanced continuity in the Urgent Reform Priorities, primarily in the rule of law. fight against organized crime and corruption.

“We are fully prepared to respond to this agenda and these challenges,” said Osmani and referred to the reforms in the judiciary, security services and public administration.

He added that the Secretariat is in the final stage of preparations of Plan 18, which has now been transformed into a plan for accession negotiations.