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Zaev Thomas Gurber signed a memorandum on the reform program

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The President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Thomas Gurber, the Director of the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation of the Reform Program of the Intelligence Services Sector of the Republic of Macedonia for the period 2017- 2020. “The Geneva Center for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF) is an intergovernmental foundation in which the Founding Board, the Republic of Macedonia, has been a member since 2000. This foundation provides support to countries and international research and project factors in order to improve the governance and reforms of the intelligence and security sector, “said Prime Minister Zaev.

Stressing the exceptional importance of the Memorandum and the strategic partnership that DCAF has made after the changes to the Republic of Macedonia for the implementation of security sector reform and intelligence services and the institutions that have a mandate to oversee and control these services, Prime Minister Zaev noted: “This cooperation is crucial for us, above all, to restore the confidence of citizens in those security sector institutions, which in the past were marked as a symbol of the” captured state “we inherited as the main association for violating human freedoms and rights”, Prime Minister Zaev assessed.

Le Pen seeks to rally far-right allies for European elections in Nice

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In view of the European Parliaments elections scheduled for the 23 to 26 May 2019, far-right leaders gathered in the southern French city of Nice in order to lauch their continent anti-immigration campaign. National Front president, Marine Le Pen, was joined by Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom, Harald Vilimsky of Austria’s Freedom Party and Czech nationalist Tomio Okamura. On that occasion, it was claimed that a far-right majority in the European elections was possible and it could change Europe, insisting on the possibility to create a Union of European Nations. Ms Le Pen argued also that Nice which has a diverse population, suffered strongly from migration which changed its face.

Albanian Prime Minister, “The Vetting process will not be sufficient only with the removal of corrupt judges”

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“The Vetting process will not be sufficient only with the removal of corrupt judges and prosecutors, as they will answer the law.” He said in a meeting of the SP National Assembly, Prime Minister Edi Rama, adding that there will then be a clean justice system that will act on politicians. “People see that all that true war on and and below and, to advance reform in justice, all that extreme confrontation with the tent in the middle of the boulevard to break Vetting’s path has not merely been worth it but has were just as we have shown,” Rama said.

The Palace of Justice is collapsing, the Prime Minister said, adding that “the corrupt people within the palace have no prosperity, and throughout this escalation of the process, those who have held up the Palace of Justice are leaving.” We have to explain, Rama said, that, these will not escape with that. “The cleansing of a justice system will not leave any of those who are leaving today, without recourse to tell where you found the money,” said the prime minister. To the general question of why Vetting did not start from the government and politicians, Prime Minister Rama replied that “this will make a purely justice system”.

Albanian foreign minister, “We are aware of the ‘tiredness of Europeanisation'”

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Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati informed on Tuesday (April 26th) a small group of Brussels journalists about his country’s ambitions towards the EU, following the Commission’s proposal to start membership talks with Tirana and following Prime Minister Edi Rama’s visit to Berlin last Wednesday. The European Commission proposed on April 17 to open membership negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, in line with its new focus on Western Balkans integration.

The renewed interest in the region, which has made progress over the last year in resolving disagreements with its neighbors and undertaking a reform agenda, matched concerns about the growing interest of non-EU countries to gained a foothold there, in particular Russia and China. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron told the European Parliament that he did not want further EU enlargement before the bloc would make the reforms, allowing it to function more successfully. In Berlin, Rama warned that Russia also aimed to radicalize the Muslims of Albania and urged the EU not to “leave room for filling in from other countries”.

Visit of the Minister of Foreign affairs Nikola Dimitrov to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

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On April 20, 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov, paid a working visit to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, within which he had a meeting with his host, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn. The ministers expressed satisfaction with the mutual efforts to intensify the political dialogue in the past months, resulting in two working visits to the foreign ministers of the Republic of Macedonia and Luxembourg in both directions. Opinions were exchanged about the potential and mutual interest in the function of the further development of the overall bilateral cooperation between the Republic of Macedonia and the GV Luxembourg.

Minister Dimitrov briefed his host on the latest development of the internal political situation, the reform agenda, the regional cooperation, as well as the efforts to find a compromise solution to the bilateral dispute with the Republic of Greece. During the visit, Minister Dimitrov also met with the Speaker of the Luxembourg Parliament, Mars Di Bartolomeo and members of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign and European Affairs, Defense, Cooperation and Migration, and presented the opportunities to interested companies in the Economic Chamber of Luxembourg. for investing in the Republic of Macedonia.

Macedonian prime minister meets with EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Mogherini

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The President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, accompanied by Vice President and Minister of Defense, Radmila Sekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov and State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Viktor Dimovski , met Monday with the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and the Deputy EC President, Federica Mogherini, chaired by EU Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Samuel Zbogar. High Representative of the EU Mogherini said at the meeting that the main message that she conveys is congratulations to Prime Minister Zaev personally to the Government, the opposition, the Parliament and the citizens, for the received clear recommendation to start Macedonia’s EU membership talks.

This, as High Representative Mogherini said, is the result of a well-done job in overcoming the political crisis achieved in the reform process, constructive policies with all political actors and the opposition, good neighborly relations, and that all these processes should continue through implementation of the reforms and the further unification of all, around the national and strategic goals of the state. In a press release, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Mogherini announced the EU’s assessment that the Republic of Macedonia has been restored on the European Union’s path, unlike a year ago, that a great deal has gone by, that the pure recommendation is the result of the joint work and that the government and the opposition should retain the forces to work together in the next steps.

BiH needs cooperation to maintain peace and stability

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, Mladen Bosić, claimed that BiH needs firmer and better cooperation as well as more talks and negotiations in order to preserve regional peace and stability. Bosić also pointed out the importance of a more determined fight against crime and corruption, and the problem of rising populism, “strong leaders” and undermining democratic institutions. In BiH, organized crime, corruption and money laundering are a major problem. Stronger European support, exchange of experiences and better regional cooperation in the fight against crime, corruption and other deviations that are eroding BiH’s society, according to Bosić, are necessary. Therefore, accession of the country to the European Union would be much more than membership. 

Montenegro: Police intensifies patrol near border due to increase in the number of migrants

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Due to the increasing presence of migrants in the area, police has intensified patrols in villages that gravitate towards the state border between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, police forces did not confirm the number of migrants residing in the territory of Pljevlja municipality, nor how many of them managed to cross the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina. When migrants enter the country they are not punished for illegal entry but are directed to submit the requests to the competent Ministry of Interior and accommodated in the competent centers where they can stay until the end procedure. However, many of them do not wait forC the asylum procedure to be terminated but try to illegally leave the territory of Montenegro via Bosnia or, seldom, through Croatia. Migrants enter the abandoned houses of the villages they cross to find refuge.

The Police Administration affirmed that four such cases were reported to them. Indeed, The Pljevlja Security Center has so far registered four citizens’ reports concerning breakouts in four family houses, in which no one lives in the winter. Police also claimed that since August 2017, there has been a slight increase in the number of illegal migrants from the neighboring Republic of Albania. Illegal migration in Montenegro is mainly of an individual and transitory character, mainly for economic reasons. The majority of migrants registered come from Algeria, Syria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, as well as citizens of neighboring countries such as Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia.

The EC supports the opening of negotiations with Albania

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The European Commission will recommend that the European Union open membership negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, according to a first draft document by RadioFreeEurope and RadioLiberty. 

This document is part of the enlargement European Union package for enlargement to be published on April 17 in Strasbourg and which sets out how far non-EU Western Balkan countries and Turkey are on their way to European Union membership. The European Commission has recommended negotiations with Macedonia every year since 2009, but the European Union member countries in this council, particularly Greece, have blocked talks due to the name issue, which tensed relations between Athens and Skopje, since Macedonia was declared independent in 1991. Athens has opposed its northern neighbor in using the name Macedonia, claiming it implies territorial claims in its northern province of the same name. Also, the draft document confirms that the commission for the first time recommends the opening of Albania’s accession negotiations in the EU, which became an official EU candidate country in 2014. The document emphasizes that public administration reform has been consolidated, with the goal of increasing its professionalism and depoliticisation. He also adds that further action has been taken to strengthen the independence, efficiency and accountability of legal institutions, especially by advancing in the implementation of a comprehensive justice reform. 

Zaev-Gerberich: Germany supports Macedonia’s bid to join NATO and EU

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The Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, met with Thomas Gerberich, Ambassador of the Republic of Germany to the Republic of Macedonia.The meeting welcomed the reform steps of the Republic of Macedonia and the good neighborly relations that lead to the realization of the strategic Euro-Atlantic goals of the country. German Ambassador Gerberich conveyed support from the Republic of Germany for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Republic of Macedonia, informing that Macedonia has the majority support from the German Bundestag for joining the country in the European Union. Ambassador Gerberich announced that the German Bundestag MPs returned to Germany with positive impressions of the visit to Macedonia for the constructive policies through which the issues important for the progress of the Republic of Macedonia are being addressed.

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