Regarding the issues relating to the statement of President Pendarovski for potential membership in the European Economic Zone, we inform about the following:
In October 2019, when the opening of negotiations with the EU for our country was postponed due to the adoption of the new methodology, in Brussels, the idea of alternative membership for the Western Balkan countries in the European Economic Zone was unofficially circulated, of course, after fulfilling the necessary conditions.
The position of President Pendarovski then and now was that no alternative to membership should be accepted because full-fledged membership in the EU means being part of the common European market.
However, in order to form a common state position on the ideas presented in Brussels, President Pendarovski convened a meeting on 20 October 2019 of the presidents of the ruling and opposition political parties that have members in the Parliament.
An absolute consensus was reached at the meeting by all leaders, including the President of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, who supported the view that the Republic of North Macedonia needs membership in the European Union, not participation in alternative forms of cooperation with the EU, because, in addition to economic integration, the country needs political integration and adoption of democratic standards and values - the rule of law, independent judiciary and media, human rights and freedoms.
In that regard, all those present at the meeting concluded that alternatives should not be considered at all, but the country should continue at an accelerated pace to achieve the strategic goal – full-fledged membership in the European Union.