Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani meets with EC Vice-President Dubravka Šuica

As part of his two-day intensive agenda, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani met with the Vice-President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography, Dubravka Šuica.   During the meeting there were discussions about the course of preparations for the Conference on the Future of Europe and involvement of Western Balkan countries, as well as youth policies and prevention of qualified workers migrating to highly developed countries. Vice-President Šuica briefed Osmani on the plans for the Conference on the Future of Europe, which is one of the priority projects of the European Commission that is expected to contribute to the development of EU policies in the medium- and long-term in order to better respond to the challenges that the EU is facing. This conference will provide a platform that should connect European citizens, civil society and European institutions and aims at joint discussions about what kind of EU European citizens want and how it should be managed. The Conference on the Future of Europe will be a new forum for open, inclusive and transparent debate. It was jointly concluded that the Union’s enlargement policies should continue in parallel with the discussions about the future of the European Union and its internal reforms. “The participation of Western Balkan countries at the Conference on the Future of Europe will be a common benefit and will further increase the efforts for building political will among member states in the progress of the enlargement with the Western Balkans”, emphasized Osmani. Minister Osmani briefed his interlocutor on the current EU agenda of the country, as well as the measures undertaken by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to improve living and working conditions in order to improve the socio-economic life in the country. This meeting was preceded by Osmani’s meetings with Andreas Schnieder, Co-chairman of the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee,IlhanKyuchyuk, the rapporteur for North Macedonia in the European Parliament, and Andrey Kovatchev, Vice-Chair of the EPP.

Osmani meets with Andrey Kovatchev, Bulgarian MEP, AFET member, and EPPVice-Chair

During his two-day visit to Brussels, Minister Osmani also met with MEP Andrey Kovachev, who is also a member of AFET and a Vice-Chair of the EPP. During the talk, Osmani said that the Republic of North Macedonia is fully committed to promotion of good neighbourly relations with Bulgaria through the implementation of all articles of the bilateral Treaty o Friendship, Good-neighbourliness, and Cooperation based on mutual respect. “Our policy is aimed at building friendship and in line with fostering European values”, emphasized Osmani. The meeting reaffirmed the positions of our country that a particularly important and complicated process of common growth was initiated with the Republic of Bulgaria. “The stakes are high for both sides and the expectation is that mutual understanding will prevail and we will continue on the path of becoming closer and building a partnership through mutual respect, as two neighbouring European countries. The Republic of Bulgaria has supported the European integration of the Republic of North Macedonia so far and we expect for that support to continue in the future. For us the Bulgarian Presidency with the Council of the EU in 2018 was of particular importance, when the EU enlargement was put back as a priority on the EU agenda, and therefore the continuity of this successful and common story has to continue with the adoption of the Negotiating framework and the holding of the first Intergovernmental Conference with the EU. Another focus of the meeting was the joint presidency with the Berlin Process, whereupon it was jointly underlined that together with our neighbor we foster professional and fruitful cooperation in the management of the agenda of the joint presidency with the Berlin Process, in conditions of a pandemic. This clearly shows that we can practice partnership relations and we can foster a European approach to mutual communication and functioning. The joint presidency of Bulgaria and North Macedonia with the Berlin Process, that is, an EU member state and a candidate country will set an example and provide a model for deepening of the European cooperation and future of the region. The interlocutors concluded that the Joint multidisciplinary commission on historical and educational matters should continue its work aimed at achieving progress “We are building bridges of cooperation that lead to greater trust and common success. This is the aim of the Treaty between the two countries itself, of the framework we have agreed upon – historical issues to be discussed by expert commissions, while,at the same time, we maintain unobstructed political, economic, cultural and social cooperation”, Osmani concluded. 

Osmani – Várhelyi meeting in Brussels

As part of his working visit to Brussels, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani met with the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, OlivérVárhelyi. The meeting was in the function of realization of Osmani’s mission to complete the European integration file of North Macedonia, to formally start negotiations for EU membership without delays and during this year’s German Presidency with the Council of the EU; and interlocutors agreed that this is a common goal. “The new Government remains firmly committed to the reform agenda and European integration, with additional impulse and proactiveness in the development of good-neighbourly relations, as key added value in the development of regional stability. The new parliamentary composition has the European mark and I expect continuity in the implementation of reforms”, Osmani emphasized, noting the high expectations in the country from the German Presidency, aimed at completion of the negotiating framework and the holding of the first Intergovernmental conference. “I assure you that aside from the reform process, the new Government will also utilize the upcoming period to finalize the administrative and technical and political readiness of the country to start negotiations through timely completion of the negotiating structure, in accordance with the principles of the new methodology, of course, taking into account the new arrangement of the chapters in clusters”, Osmani said, noting the accomplishments in the previous term in function of the already built skeleton and legislative preparation of the negotiating structure as well as the previously successfully held explanatory screening. During the meeting, Commissioner Várhelyi informed that the European Commission will soon publish the regular enlargement package along with the annual reports for the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process with the EU. In addition, the Economic and Investment Programme of the EC for the Western Balkan region was announced which will set aside significant financial support in the form of grants and loans for realization of infrastructure projects in the field of transport and energy interconnectivity of the region. This will be a strong support from the EU for economic strengthening of Western Balkan countries, increased regional cooperation and stronger ties with the EU. The meeting also discussed the initiatives of the Berlin Process, especially in the framework of the joint co-chairmanship of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria, which is scheduled for 10 November in Sofia. It was concluded that the symbolic co-chairmanship of an EU member state with a candidate country, which is the first such case so far, is a real opportunity to promote and strengthen good-neighbourliness between the two countries, as well as to promote the joint aspiration for European integration of the whole region. During the day, Osmani will also meet with Andreas Schnieder, Co-chairman of the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee, IlhanKyuchyuk,the rapporteur for North Macedonia in the European Parliament, and Andrey Kovatchev, Vice-Chair of the EPP. As part of today's intensive agenda, Osmani has planned a meeting with the Vice President of the European Union responsible for Democracy and Demography, DubravkaŠuica.

Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia:

Bujar Osmani

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