Press Releases

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov delivered introductory remarks today at the conference organized at the Council of Europe Programme Office in Skopje, under the auspices of the joint activities of the European Union and the Council of Europe for the Western Balkan countries within the regional launching of the second phase of the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey.

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FM Nikola Dimitrov underlined the importance of the topics covered by the Facility which are a key priority for North Macedonia within the EU accession process: ,,The four identified areas of the Facility: ensuring justice, fighting against corruption, combating discrimination and protecting the rights of the vulnerable groups and the freedom of expression of the media are probably the key areas in the domestic reform agenda so as to become a functional European democracy.”

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In addition to Minister Nikola Dimitrov, other keynote speakers at the regional event included Verena Taylor, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes of the Council of Europe and Colin Wolfe, Head of Unit, Western Balkans Regional Cooperation and Programmes of the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission. The event was also attended by the directors of CoE's regional offices in Western Balkan countries, the national coordinators of the countries implementing the Horizontal Facility and representatives of other state institutions.

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After the first part of the conference, FM Dimitrov had a bilateral meeting with Verena Taylor, where opinions were exchanged on how to build further synergies and use the Council of Europe's expertise to improve the domestic reform process and harmonize European standards in the country with the ultimate goal of improving the citizens’ standard of living. ,,The implementation of the Horizontal Facility II specifically helps us to ensure a European standard of living for the citizens", FM Dimitrov underlined.

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