The NATO membership invitation for Macedonia is very important for you, but it is also important for us. We support the country’s EU integration process, which in fact requires the name referendum in late September to be successful, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă told a news conference in Skopje alongside her Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev.
“My visit here several months before Romania is to take over the EU presidency in early 2019 is an expression of support for Macedonia’s EU bid. We know that the next progress report on Macedonia will be published by the end of June 2019. I hope the Council of the EU will reach a consensus and by the end of 2019 you will begin opening the items of the EU accession negotiations. Romania will try to help you with technicalities. I wish for the referendum to be successful and I hope that the citizens here in Macedonia will understand the importance of it,” PM Dăncilă noted.
Romania is a great friend of Macedonia, Premier Zaev said thanking the country for its principled support to the reform process and the Euro-Atlantic integration bid.
“We’ve shown that we can deal with a difficult political crisis, that we can work very hard to implement all necessary reforms, that we can be the driving force in the region in advancing good neighborly ties. We expect fair acknowledgement according to individual merits and we expect to take up our deserved place in NATO and the EU. Therefore, this meeting is important mainly because Romania takes over the EU presidency in January 2019 and will preside over the Union in the months deemed key for Macedonia, during which we need to complete reforms and conclude the deal with our southern neighbor, the Republic of Greece. I expect the name referendum to be successful and I expect yet another mature, wise and progressive decision of the large majority of our citizens that will pave the way for Macedonia to join the EU and NATO,” said PM Zaev.
The interlocutors also discussed ways to use the potentials of economic cooperation and opportunities for cooperation in agriculture, education, etc. They will be tackled by working groups in the two countries.
A business forum is also in the works. Macedonia’s doors are open for businessmen from Romania, Zaev told Dăncilă.
Moreover, the Romanian PM pointed out the Macedonian community in Romania as a bridge for cooperation between the two countries. The Romanian Parliament has inaugurated a Macedonian language day, which contributes to further improve the ties between the countries, Dăncilă said.