Zaev-Mogherini: EU commends Macedonia’s tangible progress

Making Macedonia a modern, democratic country, one that shares the European values and where the law will rule is the government’s main objective, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Wednesday in Brussels at a meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

Personal engagement of EU high officials in and the support of EU institutions for turning this goal into reality is vital, Zaev said.

Macedonia, Zaev said, offers arguments to prove to be the most successful story in 2017, being capable to contribute substantially to advancing the good-neighborly relations, regional cooperation, the stability and security of the Western Balkan region and Europe.

Great efforts have been invested for Macedonia to return to the right track after the long-standing political crisis and the time has come for these efforts to bear fruits, the PM said.

He expressed belief that the EU would make a decision on launching Macedonia’s EU-accession talks in the first half of 2018, as well as offer possibility for each aspirant country to advance on the road to EU membership on the individual merit-based progress.

‘Macedonia will make efforts to catch up and join the frontrunners in the EU-integration process. Macedonia should be in this package as it will bring long-term stabilization to the country,’ Zaev said.

The next year EU-Western Balkan Summit, which is to take place in Sofia under Bulgaria’s EU Presidency, offers opportunity for renewal of mutual obligations of the WB countries and the Union, Zaev said.

He also reaffirmed Macedonia’s commitment to settling the dispute with Greece and asked international support for finding a sustainable solution that would be acceptable for both countries, the government said in a press release.

Mogherini on her part commended Macedonia’s tangible progress for a short period of time, saying that it would also contribute to the country’s advancement on the road to the EU membership.

Zaev and Mogherini agreed on the need of ruling and opposition parties to cooperate on the matters of strategic interest of the country, notifying that the upcoming period is crucial for opening of Macedonia’s EU-accession talks.