Vice Premier Osmani says next six weeks crucial for Macedonia

The next six weeks are crucial in determining the course of events regarding Macedonia’s European integration process over the coming six months, said Vice Premier for European Affairs Bujar Osmani on Friday.

He expects Macedonia to get an accession talks date at the European Council in June of next year.

In the coming six weeks the country is set to deliver legislation in the Plan 3-6-9 priority fields of judiciary, security and intelligence services, and public administration.

“We are ahead of an important period, a time of golden opportunities for essential breakthrough in the integration process. 2018 is a year when Bulgaria and Austria hold the rotating EU Presidency, followed by Romania. These are countries that promote the region’s Union accession”, said Vice Premier Osmani.

If the country produces results, it hopes for a clear recommendation for the start of accession talks, followed by the European Commission’s guidelines over the launch of preparations of the negotiating framework in March, maybe even pre-screening of chapters 23 and 24.

The EC Progress Report is to be released in April, followed by May’s European Council enlargement meeting in Sofia and June’s EU Council meeting, when the country hopes for an accession talks date.

Osmani stressed that the Government is in continual communication with President Gjorge Ivanov and the opposition regarding the required reforms.

“I ask for a freeze of party activities in the coming six months in order to focus on a the greater picture – the delivery of reforms and closure of open political issues – making 2018 is a historic year for Macedonia in its EU and NATO integration process”, underlined Osmani.