- Thursday, March 01, 2018 7:42 PM
Skopje, 1 March 2018 (MIA) - Macedonia has a chance and expects to obtain a clear recommendation in April and a date for commencing the EU accession talks in June, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told reporters on Thursday in Sofia.
Today, Zaev attended a working meeting in Sofia of the Heads of Government of Western Balkan countries with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, hosted by Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose country currently holds the EU Presidency, Macedonia's government said in a press release.
The message of today's working meeting is that the EU needs good news from the Balkans and that the countries in the region are expected to show efficiency in implementing regional initiatives, namely economic cooperation, political stability, fight against corruption and crime.
Speaking to members of the media after the meeting, PM Zaev said that the top EU officials had reaffirmed that the Union was committed to integration process of the Western Balkan countries.
"Today, the high representatives of the European Commission have said that now the Western Balkans perspectives for joining the EU are serious," stated Zaev.
Substantial financial support in billions of euros for the countries in the region with respect to infrastructure has been also announced, according to him.
Moreover, Zaev added, a message was relayed that 'reform implementation should serve as beacon in these processes.'
The Euro-representatives encouraged the Western Balkan leaders to keep championing regional cooperation and infrastructural connectivity. They also notified their expectation for the Western Balkan countries to make reform progress in key areas, namely the judiciary, media, public administration, intelligence service and police.
PM Zaev also extended gratitude to his Bulgarian counterpart Borisov.
'A substantial part of (Bulgaria)'s EU Presidency is dedicated to friends and neighbors, which deserves high appreciation,' Zaev said. ba/lk/19:37
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