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Monday, November 20, 2017, 

PM Zaev: Progress - only way for Western Balkan countries to join EU

PM Zaev: Progress - only way for Western Balkan countries to join EU

Skopje, 10 November 2017 (MIA) - Only a progress of all countries in the region may contribute to their EU accession, Macedonia's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Friday at an annual regional convention on European Integration of the Western Balkans within the project 'Fostering the partnership between V4 and WB and capacity building in Western Balkans'.

'We are aware, as well as EU, that only a progress of all countries in the region in terms of integration processes may contribute to their EU accession, which is the best solution for the development, security and stability of our countries and Europe in general,' Zaev said.

The reform plan 3-6-9 is the main road map of the ongoing activities for transforming the institutions, policies and the society, Zaev said, pointing out that the next year is vital for Macedonia, when the country expects substantial progress on its road to joining the Euro-Atlantic organizations.

The reforms in the judiciary, intelligence services and public administration will be intensified in the next few months and if Macedonia delivers results it will be entitled to expect recognition from its European partners, the PM said.

'We are looking forward to the EU enlargement strategy, European Commission's progress report on Macedonia and the EU-Western Balkan Summit in the course of Bulgaria's Presidency. After completing the first cycle of the difficult reforms Macedonia expects clear, unconditional recommendation for launching of the EU accession talks, namely concrete start by the end of 2018,' Zaev said.

To that effect Macedonia has been working on advancing the relations with its neighbors, Zaev said, notifying the friendship treaty with Bulgaria as an example of 'our sincere intention'.

"We have also launched a process for opening the path of cooperation with Greece and all other neighbors and countries in the region. We have also established regular, active cooperation with Macedonia's friends - the EU and NATO member states,' the PM said.

The government, he said, has been championing a policy of inclusion and expects for the opposition to meet its obligations and contribute to the development of the country.

He also underlined the experience of the Visegrad Group for Macedonia and the Western Balkan countries.

Today's event brought together Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ambassadors of Visegrad Group member countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. lk/18:40

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