Having successfully overcome the political crisis and the ongoing efforts to implement the reform agenda create a unique opportunity for progress, said OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger during a two-day visit to Skopje.The Secretary General met President Gjorge Ivanov, Speaker of Parliament Talat Xhaferi, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, as well as senior representatives of parliamentary groups and members of civil society, the OSCE Mission to Skopje said in a press release.He emphasized the need to focus on long-term structural reforms in areas such as the rule of law, freedom of the media, democratic governance, police and the security sector. “The OSCE, its Institutions and in particular the OSCE Mission to Skopje will continue to work in partnership with the national institutions in support of the agreed reforms in key areas”. Greminger encouraged further steps to build a cohesive society and advance the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. He also welcomed efforts to strengthen good neighbourly relations, including the signing of a friendship agreement with Bulgaria.
The current and future activities of the government with special emphasis on Action Plan 3-6-9 which enters the second phase of its implementation were discussed at Friday’s meeting between FM Nikola Dimitrov and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, who pays his first official visit to Macedonia after taking office in July 2017.Dimitrov in this direction presented priority areas in which efforts to act and improvement of situation are underlined as rule of law and judiciary, human rights and media freedom, electoral legislation and where recommendations and support from OSCE are welcome, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.Although OSCE is organisation which generally has a mandate to manage challenges, in the current Macedonian context is prepared to consider ways to exploit favourable opportunities and to grab the positive momentum for democratic development of the country, Greminger said. He also expressed satisfaction from promising reform path, the vision of the future and the expressed encouragement.
New window of opportunities are opening which will help Macedonia to focus on implementing the ambitious reform agenda, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger said Thursday after meeting Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.’I wish to support the future efforts of PM Zaev to realize all reforms in favor of the country’s progress,’ Greminger said.Macedonia, he said, should focus on key spheres, such as the rule of law, media freedom, democratic governance and security sector, he said.Zaev commended OSCE assistance to Macedonia’s progress, saying that all recommendations, including the ones of the European Commission, have been incorporated in the government’s reform plan.Under this plan, Macedonia will work on establishing democratic institutions, independent judiciary, free media. Special attention is being paid to establishing fair, efficient judicial system and advancing the country’s relations with its neighbors, Zaev said.Reaffirming the country’s strategic goals – the EU, NATO membership and economic prosperity – Zaev said the government had been working eagerly to that effect.
Measures of the Economic Growth Plan offer strong financial support for result-oriented companies, said Vice Premier for Economic Affairs Koco Angjusev at meetings with Stephanie von Friedeburg, World Bank Group Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Information and Technology Solutions, and John Panzer, World Bank Director for Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management, in New York on Wednesday. Angjusev said the realization of economic policies is a top priority in the Government’s programme, whereas state support of the economy, capital investments and energy stability are expected to result in intensive economic growth, the Vice Premier’s Office said in a press release.According to him, the plan’s measures offer strong support to result-oriented companies, their technological and production development, increase of exports and improvement of cooperation among domestic and foreign companies, the ultimate objective being GDP growth.The World Bank officials expect intensive and constructive cooperation with the Government, especially in the realization of projects in Macedonia. They highlighted that the region’s infrastructure networking through road and railway corridors VIII and X is key to the economic growth of Macedonia and the area, reads the press release.
As the UK moves to exit the EU, the Western Balkans are pushing for the opening of the Union’s door. In spring, Brussels can give a green light for opening accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, the Austrian daily newspaper Kurier reads. The EU Commissioner for the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn also told EU-Western Balkans Media Days that took place on Nov. 9 to 10 in Tirana that Macedonia and Albania are on the right track, MIA reports.EC President Jean-Claude Juncker pointed to 2025 as a possible term for admitting new EU members, but according to Hahn, no state has a guarantee that it will join by then. If a specific deadline is set, it can be a danger for the Western Balkans that will not be able to meet the deadline, to remain waiting and to lag behind. A positive moment, which was pointed out at Hahn’s meetings in Tirana, is the improved climate in the relations between Greece and Macedonia. This opens opportunities in the coming months for a possible end of the Greek blockade due to the long-standing name dispute with Macedonia. In regard to Albania, the problem with the thousands of Albanians still seeking asylum in the EU should be solved. It affects the image of the country and therefore has to change, but this cannot be done in a year or two.
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’.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.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’.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.
Recognising the Bulgarian minority in Albania is genocide on Macedonians in Albania where there were no Bulgarians, Vasil Sterjovski, general secretary of the Macedonian Alliance for European Integration (MAEI) party in Albania, said in the interview with Tirana-based Tema television.According to him, Bulgarians have been trying for years to artificially present Bulgarian minority in Albania, Kosovo and Greece aimed at avoiding Macedonia with artificial Bulgarian minority and to “prove” that there is no Macedonian nation.Albanian foreign minister at several meetings stated these are the minorities living in Albania and the matter is completed. Even at one of the meetings at the request of the Albanian-Bulgarian Friendship Association, he said that although hundreds of Albanians have Italian passports that does not give Italy the right to claim its minority in Albania. However, under the pressure from Bulgaria and EU’s vetoing Albania, the Albanian authorities yielded to the demands and Bulgarian became the ninth minority in the country.The Macedonian Alliance for European Integration and the Macedonian Association “Ilinden” strongly reacted to this and asked Albanian President Ilir Meta not to sign the bill and to forward it to parliament to be reviewed again.
The next 2018 is a historic year for the Republic of Macedonia in terms to our integration and in regard to these ambitions we expect support from Croatia, Deputy PM for European Affairs Bujar Osmani stated Monday at the meeting with the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejcinovic-Buric, in the frames of his first official visit to Republic of Croatia.The meeting focused on bilateral cooperation between two countries, enlargement process and European perspective of the region as well as Croatia’s support for Macedonia’s integration in the EU and NATO, Secretariat for European Affairs said in a press release.Interlocutors underlined good bilateral relations between two countries, as basis for deepening the cooperation, exchange and mutual support for political ambitions. Osmani referred to European perspectives of the region in context to Macedonia’s EU integration processes.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by Vice Premier for Economic Affairs Koco Angjusev, Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi and Education Minister Renata Trenevska-Deskoska, met late Thursday in Podgorica with Montenegro Prime the Minister Dusko Markovic. Zaev and Markovic said after the meeting that Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina have made another step forward in regional cooperation by accepting PM Zaev’s initiative over introduction of flight Skopje-Podgorica-Sarajevo, the Government said in a press release. According to him, this flight would enable fresh economic perspectives, cooperation in the fields of tourism, culture, sport, education, as well as citizens’ daily lives.PM Markovic also confirmed Montenegro’s interest in solving this issue, adding that countries have no open issues, which enables the relations’ development.He stressed that Montenegro supports Macedonia’s NATO accession, which it highly deserves.The PMs agreed that intensive cooperation in the region opens the countries’ Euro-Atlantic perspective.
Culture Minister Robert Alagjozovski said in his speech addressing the 39th session of UNESCO General Conference held in Paris , that the Republic of Macedonia makes effort to implement active and constructive cooperation with other UNESCO member states, based on the democratic principles on which Organization endeavors. The human rights and freedom are imperative for creating and developing the current policies and practices in the country.Alagjozovski underlined that the third UNESCO Chair for copyrights and creative industries in the digital environment on the Faculty of Music in Skopje is in the process of evaluation by UNESCO, besides the opening of two UNESCO Chairs – the first one for Intercultural studies and research at the Faculty of Philosophy and UNESCO Chair in Media, Dialogue and Mutual Understanding at the High School of Journalism and Public Relation. Alagjozovski met Wednesday with the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova whereat he underlined Macedonia’s commitment to implement recommendations of Reactive Mission and decision of Krakow’s Committee for Ohrid.