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Friday, January 19, 2018, 

Zaev: EU enlargement package to include Macedonia

Zaev: EU enlargement package to include Macedonia

Skopje, 6 December 2017 (MIA) - The Government and the EU have invested enormous efforts to bring Macedonia back on the membership fast track, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at an event in Brussels on Wednesday. He said the results and the political will are evident, adding that Macedonia should be included in the new enlargement package, resulting in its stabilization and open perspectives.

"Now is the time to use these efforts. We are continuing to produce results through firm commitment and political will, although faced with serious domestic challenges. Taking this into account, we urge the EU to share a visionary approach and take a decision over the start of accession negotiations in the first half of 2018", PM Zaev told conference "Macedonia after the colourful revolution: New chances for a successful accession to the EU", organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung EU Office.

Zaev stressed that Government's policies aim at assuring the European Commission that Macedonia is the success story of 2017, contributing to good neighborly relations, regional cooperation, stability and security of the Western Balkans and Europe, the Government said in a press release.

According to him, the main focus of Plan 3-6-9 in the coming period is put on the judiciary, control in surveillance of communications, public administration reforms and good governance, as well as other important fields.

Regarding Macedonia's expectations from the coming enlargement strategy, Zaev expressed hope that the process would be as inclusive as possible, opening the opportunities of all countries to make swift progress in the accession process, based on individual merits.

"Macedonia will aspire to join the group that leads this process. We have been part of this process for 12 years and know well the instruments of the enlargement policy. We can easily fit it and should be part of the package. This will secure long-term stabilization and open the country's perspectives", said PM Zaev.

He expects the EU to confirm its commitment to the Western Balkans enlargement, similar to the 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda, setting a foreseeable accession timeline if criteria are met.

The Government, the PM added, has the commitment and energy to deliver arguments.

"The real deliverables are our ticket, without which we cannot expect a decision for the start of accession talks. We are investing efforts into reestablishing Macedonia as a credible partner among its international friends", underlined Zaev.

The conference included a number of European politicians, diplomats, academic community and Brussels-based think-tanks. ik/14:42


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