Schallenberg: Austria supports North Macedonia’s EU integration aspirations

Austria’s clear message of support for EU enlargement and North Macedonia’s EU integration aspirations was conveyed Monday at a meeting of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev with the Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Alexander Schallenberg.

Austria has an overwhelming consensus regarding a positive decision for North Macedonia at the October European Council and such a clear stance will be conveyed at the coming meeting in October, reads the government press release.

“It was concluded that a positive decision is the only right decision for our country. It was also concluded that the Republic of North Macedonia has met the necessary criteria and now it’s up to Europe to deliver,” said the government.

Prime Minister Zaev thanked Austria for its ‘great principled support’ in all key processes for the country’s democratic development, most notably regarding its Euro-Atlantic integration bid.

“A positive decision of the European Council to allow the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia will further motivate the institutions and the citizens through European values to contribute to the prosperity of our country and the region… North Macedonia is a good example showing how results can be produced with dedication to European values in practice,” said Zaev.

The officials concluded that the chance given to North Macedonia and Bulgaria to co-chair the Berlin Process in 2020 is a strong message of Europe’s support for the country, stated the press release.

According to PM Zaev, a positive decision in October would only uphold the confidence of other countries in the region aspiring to join the EU that reforms and solutions to bilateral issues through dialogue result in benefits.

Austria is one of the most important investors in North Macedonia. The officials pledged that economic cooperation would be further strengthened, stated the press release.