Statement by the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, after the handover of the EC Progress Report for the Republic of North Macedonia for 2019

29 May 2019 | Speeches

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me express my satisfaction that the European Commission recognized the progress of the Republic of North Macedonia and recommended again start of accession negotiations for membership.

We receive a clear recommendation for the start of the negotiations, without additional conditions.

The report is the best by now, and given the strict approach in assessing the progress of each candidate country, the Report reflects the real situation in the Republic of North Macedonia.

Europe today showed that it can appreciate and value political courage, solving difficult issues with compromise, in the spirit of the European values, policy of good-neighborliness and regional cooperation.

The Republic of North Macedonia has made decisive steps, both in foreign policy and at home, with the implementation of key reforms necessary for the progress on the European path.

I would like to point out that the Report recognizes our efforts in view of restoring citizens’ trust in institutions, increased accountability, transparency and responsibility of key policy makers, but also the obligation to take responsibility in cases with identified corruptive actions and an appropriate institutional response.

However, it should be noted that the Republic of North Macedonia is progressing in the reforms in the area of ​​the rule of law and judiciary, not losing sight of the need for intensification of the reforms, for which, I am sure, there is readiness by all political factors concerned.

As President, I expect the European Council to positively assess the efforts of the country and, in accordance with the adopted European Commission recommendation, in June, to decide on the start of accession negotiations.

Instead of being a collector of positive reports, I expect the Republic of North Macedonia to be given a fair chance and transform itself through the opening of each separate chapter of the accession negotiations.

Any further delay of the start of negotiations will be discouraging for our society and will have serious implications on the implementation of the reform processes. But, at the same time, it can be understood as an incentive for anti-European politicians throughout the region, which is contrary to the efforts for stabilization and integration of our region.

I expect and urge all relevant political actors in the Republic of North Macedonia to recognize the importance of the moment and, through a responsible and constructive approach, to contribute to the efforts of the state for its progress on the European path.

On this occasion, I would like to emphasize in particular that today we receive the best report in the history of our Euro-Atlantic integrations, with a clear recommendation for the start of the negotiations, without any additional conditions, but I am really honored and pleased that for the first time the European Commission Progress Report is handed over jointly to the President of the State, the President of the Assembly, the President of the Government, and the Supreme Court.

Today’s presence of state leadership, judiciary and representatives of the most relevant political parties in one place demonstrates the state consensus in the Republic of North Macedonia for membership in the European Union.

Once again, I call on all institutions of the government, including the opposition, without reservations, to commit themselves to completing our obligations in the interests of all citizens of our common country.

Thank you.




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