Press Releases

On the first day of his working visit to Brussels, FM Nikola Dimitrov took part in the working breakfast with the ministers of foreign affairs of EU member states and Albania’s FM, organised by the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias.

 

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Minister Dimitrov said that despite the unfulfilled promise of the October European Council, the Government has kept its focus on the reform agenda and is working intensively on convincing member states that the start of negotiations with North Macedonia will be a well-deserved step that will contribute to maintaining the reform process inside the country and will serve as an encouragement to other countries in the region. Regarding the methodology, minister Dimitrov underlined that everything that would make the negotiations better structures, more efficient, fairer, more substantial and more credible is acceptable and of interest to North Macedonia as well.

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FM Dimitrov stressed: “We need to create a context from which all of us will ultimately emerge as winners. The outcome of the October Council of the EU has created uncertainty which needs to be corrected as soon as possible. We agree with the advancement of the negotiations process, but we demand that the decision to start negotiations be made without further delay. The timeframe is important and we look forward to the European Commission’s proposals. We have nothing to lose from more scrutiny or from being benched again when the country shows no results. But even the best methodology can’t offset the absence of political will. This requires a level playing field and clear rules of play that will allow for the acceptance of commitments, but also the real movement towards membership and tangible benefits down the road, if the commitments are being satisfactorily fulfilled. North Macedonia has already crossed the threshold with the EU reforms and by resolving bilateral issues with its neighbours, as recognised by everyone, and the country expects to be given the opportunity, as soon as possible to prove itself, like the rest, on the European path. Europe without the European perspective of WB countries would not be a comfortable and decent place. It’s time for leadership because the stakes are high.”

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Minister Dimitrov met, for the first time, with the EU Commissioner on Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Oliver Varhelyi, where it was mutually ascertained that it was high time to make the decision to start accession talks, thus translating the outcome of the October Council of the EU into a joint success. “Strengthened and close cooperation with the European Commission, as our closest ally and partner, is an important element in achieving this goal”, FM Dimitrov said. The meeting also tackled the next steps related to the improvement of the accession process and a visit by Commissioner Varhelyi to North Macedonia was scheduled for next January.

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As part of his visit to Brussels, FM Dimitrov also met with Francois Rue, European Council President, Charles Michel’s chief of staff. Minister Dimitrov presented our expectation for the forthcoming period in the context of the European Council and briefed the interlocutor on the latest reform activities in the key areas, as well as the advancement of good-neighbourly relations.

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During his working visit to Brussels, Minister Nikola Dimitrov is scheduled to meet with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen’s chief of staff, the chair of the Renew Europe Group, Dacian Ciolos, as well as with several MEPs, including the “Friends of North Macedonia” group in the European Parliament.