Osmani and Xhaçka report to Foreign Ministers of EU member states

14 May 2021

In organization of the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Romania, Nikos Dendias and Bogdan Aurescu, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani and the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Olta Xhaçka, today reported on the European file of North Macedonia to their colleagues, the Foreign Ministers of EU member states. The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Stefano Sannino, and Miroslav Lajčák, the EU Special Representative for the Western Balkans and the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.

The aim of the meeting was to reflect on the strategic discussion about the Western Balkans held on 10 May in Brussels, and to reaffirm the engagement and commitment of member states to the European perspective of the countries in the region, ahead of meetings of the General Affairs Council in June.

Head of Diplomacy Osmani, briefed on the reform progress, as well as the steps undertaken to overcome the problem with Bulgaria and aimed at building good-neighbourliness. He said that North Macedonia has deserved to move on on its European path and that the European Council in June should finally materialize the decision to open negotiations of March last year, through adopting the Negotiating Framework and the holding of the first Intergovernmental Conference, whereupon he emphasised:

“The adopting of the Negotiating Framework and the convening of the first Intergovernmental Conference has become a strong symbolic point to which all eyes of the region are directed, which raises them to the level of a test on the credibility of the EU in terms of the whole Western Balkans. Therefore, the start of this reform-focused methodical and technical process will send a strong signal of encouragement to our society and throughout the whole region, at the same time preserving the firm conditionality introduced by the new methodology, which introduces a greater political oversight by member states and reversibility of the process”, Osmani emphasised.

This meeting, just as the strategic discussion about the Western Balkans held on 10 May in Brussels, highlights the EU’s focus on the Western Balkans, as well as the continued, even strengthened commitment to this region. The European perspective of the whole region was confirmed, as well as the strong support for the holding of the first Intergovernmental Conference on North Macedonia as soon as possible.