Skopje, 27 February 2020 (MIA) – The appeal of the EU is in the narrative it offers, but to make it sustainable, we need more than promises on paper, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said at a panel Wednesday at Charles University in Prague.
“Partnerships are valued through the prism of promises and expectations,” Minister Dimitrov noted. “And our expectations from the EU are more than justified.”
Titled “EU’s unfulfilled promise in the Western Balkans – time for strategic resolve during Croatia’s EU presidency,” FM Dimitrov’s keynote speech was an overview of North Macedonia’s European integration efforts and challenges.
Elaborating on the country’s history and politics since it gained independence—on Sept. 8, 1991— the FM also paid particular attention to finding ways to reinvigorate the European Union’s enlargement policy in the coming period, which he described as crucial.
Time is of the essence, he highlighted, in the context of inducing results during the Union’s spring agenda.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants in the Reviving the EU Enlargement Agenda: 2020 as a New Opportunity for the Western Balkans discussion included members of “think tanks, the academic community, NGOs, and the diplomatic corps.”
Engaging in conversation with Dimitrov, Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Aleš Chmelař, Europeum Institute for European Policy director Vladimír Bartovic, and Europeum research fellow Jana Juzová acknowledged the positive enlargement momentum since Oct. 2019.
They all agreed that North Macedonia should rightfully expect a positive outcome.
The panel discussion was organized by the Europeum Institute and the Embassy of North Macedonia in Prague.
On Wednesday, as part of his working visit to Prague, Dimitrov met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondráček, and Secretary of State for European Affairs Milena Hrdinková.
All of them expressed their strong support for North Macedonia’s getting a date to open membership talks with the EU as soon as possible.
They also praised the country’s successful reforms and good neighborly relations.
Next, North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is set to participate in the annual meeting of the Visegrád Group (V4) Foreign Ministers with those of the Western Balkan (WB6) countries.
The meeting is organized as part of the Czech presidency of the Visegrád-Four. mr/