Skopje, 5 August 2020 (MIA) – Joint efforts to overcome COVID-19 and enlargement, including the drafting of the negotiating framework with North Macedonia, are among the key priorities of Germany’s Presidency of the EU Council until the end of 2020, which Ambassador Anke Holstein presented before the Government on Wednesday.
“It is important for North Macedonia that a separate section of the programme is dedicated to the EU enlargement policy through credible perspective for the Union accession of all countries of the Western Balkans, in the common interest of the region and the EU. In this regard, the negotiating framework with North Macedonia and Albania is actively being drafted while considering the new enlargement methodology. According to Germany, the negotiating framework should not be burdened by bilateral issues that have to be resolved separately by the parties concerned,” said Ambassador Holstein.
Among the key priorities she referred to the coordination of EU efforts in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery and agreement on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) & Next Generation EU Instrument, stabilizing EU’s neighborhood, progress in enlargement, partnership with Africa and a united position on China.
Other priorities include conclusion of the negotiations on the future relationship with the UK, advancement in EU’s green and digital transformation, strengthening of European solidarity and social cohesion, making progress on the EU’s migration and asylum policy, strengthening the rule of law as a key foundation of the EU, and strengthening the EU’s capacity to act at the global level.
Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski thanked Ambassador Holstein for her presentation, saying it confirmed the Government’s strategic aim of European integration, through intensive and dynamic cooperation with all stakeholders.
PM Spasovski said the EU negotiating framework with North Macedonia was released only a day after Germany took over the EU Presidency, which demonstrates Berlin’s continuity in making key decisions that recognize North Macedonia’s remarkable progress and bold steps in goodneighborly relations, accompanied by reforms over the past three years.
“Germany’s EU Presidency comes amid a significant period. We expect and believe that the First Intergovernmental Conference will take place by the end of the its presidency, thus marking the official start of the EU accession negotiations. The statement of Chancellor Merkel, in which she says this is Germany’s objective, is encouraging in this regard,” Spasovski told the Government session.