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Zhernovski on Berlin Process: Macedonian-Bulgarian joint presidency effectively realizing priorities

Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Zhernovski took part Friday at webinar "Western Balkans' Local Authorities in EU Accession and the Berlin Process", organized by the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA).

Skopje, 10 July 2020 (MIA) – Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Zhernovski took part Friday at webinar “Western Balkans’ Local Authorities in EU Accession and the Berlin Process”, organized by the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA).

The goal of the event is to observe ALDA’s 20th anniversary and their activities in creating sustainable local communities, seen through the focus of European integration, and the goals and priorities of the Berlin Process joint presidency by North Macedonia and Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

Deputy FM Zhernovski said it is key for a democracy to promote the instrument of multi-layer decision-making processes, whereby local and regional authorities could provide their opinion in policy creation.

“We rely on this approach within the co-chairmanship, applying the principles of comprehensiveness, absorption of regional views on the within the presidency agenda, towards reflecting people’s interests,” said Zhernovski.

According to him, the fact that an EU member-state and a candidate country are co-chairs of the Berlin Process is a strong signal of the regional ownership and an opportunity to promote important regional topics in a broader European context.

“The COVID-19 crisis has created uncertainty and unpredictability not only for the region but also for the entire European continent, imposing the need for adaptation of the joint presidency programme. Despite the difficulties caused by the crisis, both countries have focused on implementing the key priorities, such as facilitated movement in the region, finding options for a regional treaty on travel by using IDs, updated agenda on the regional economic area (MAP REA 2.0) and incentive to the implementation of the provisions from the Roma Integration Declaration adopted in Poznan last year,” he added.

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