- Thursday, February 08, 2018 8:16 PM
Strasbourg, 8 February 2018 (MIA) - Members of the European and Macedonian Parliaments met in Strasbourg on 7-8 February 2018 for the 14th joint session.
Due to the political situation in Macedonia, this gathering marked the first full format meeting of the EU- Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in over two years. The meeting, co-chaired by European and Macedonian MPs Alojz Peterle and Goran Milevski respectively, marked a return to inter-parliamentary dialogue after the formation of a new government last year.
Peterle welcomed the participation of the opposition party in the JPC meeting, emphasizing that boycotts have no constructive role in the political society and cross-party cooperation is a necessary in any democracy. At the same time, he encouraged that the rule of law be respected and cautioned against using the justice system to implement retaliatory measures between political parties, the European Parliament said Thursday in a press release.
Milevski thanked the EU for its continued support of the country and reiterated the Parliament's commitment to fully implement the reforms in the key areas.
The parliamentarians held in-depth and fruitful discussions on a number of important issues including the implementation of the EU-Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Agreement and other reforms in the country, including the judicial and electoral ones. Additionally, they discussed the importance of independent media and the role of civil society.
In the wake of the European Commission's announcement of the new enlargement strategy for the Western Balkans, the co-chairs noted that both sides renewed their dedication to Macedonia's EU-integration process. The Berlin Process was highlighted as a valuable tool to complement the accession process, not to be seen as an alternative to the process.
The adoption of joint recommendations at the conclusion of the meeting was a significant indication of new momentum and consensus regarding the way forward. Both delegations demonstrated continued commitment towards the European future of Macedonia, the press release reads.
The 15th EU-Macedonia JPC meeting will take place in the second half of 2018 in Skopje. lk/20:11
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