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Today, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Zernovski attended and delivered opening remarks at the conference - Lessons Learned from Poznan 2019: Ahead of North Macedonia-Bulgaria Co-Presidency of the Berlin Process 2020.

 

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The conference was the closing event of a project titled "Towards Sustainable Regional Cooperation, the Berlin Process and Beyond", supported by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and implemented by the Institute for Democracy - Societas Civilis - Skopje and The Southeast European Think Net Network.

Topics covered the framework for co-presidency of North Macedonia and Bulgaria with the Berlin Process 2020 and the policies expected to emerge from this joint presidency.

The Secretary of State for the Polish Community Abroad, Europe, Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Polish MFA, Mr. Szymon Szynkowski also delivered his remarks along with other prominent speakers.

In his remarks, Zernovski emphasised that the joint presidency over the Berlin Process with friendly Bulgaria is a great opportunity to show that the Republic of North Macedonia is not only committed to regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, but can also provide a significant impetus for it to move towards the desired results which are compatible with the process of European integration.

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"The Berlin Process is not an alternative to EU membership, on the contrary, it is the right way to show that the Western Balkan countries are committed to the European integration of the region," Zernovski stressed.

He also stressed that BP 2020 would not only be co-chaired for the first time, but also for the first time one of the host countries would be a non-EU country that is part of the Western Balkans region.

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The Balkan countries belong in the European family - geographically, historically, culturally, beneficially - and see their future as part of the European Union. The prospect of EU membership is a mobilising factor that unites all stakeholders and is the driving force for the successful implementation of reforms and challenges faced along the way. The consolidation of the European Union can and should be carried out in parallel with the European consolidation of the Balkans, Deptuty FM Zernovski concluded in his remarks.

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