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Useful reminder:
EU integrations are quite different today than they used to be 10 years ago.
The goal however remains the same.
We should equip ourselves with patience and work hard in those areas where we don’t depend on certain moods or interests we cannot change.

Nikola Poposki

Summit of Frankophonie in Dakar, Senegal

A Forum with excellent possibility for promotion of the main pillars of the long-term Macedonian foreign policy:
1. International order based on human rights and democratic principles 

2. Open economic co-operation and development

The Frankophonie offers an opportunity for a long-term towards the African countries having in mind that it is a continent with biggest economic and demographic potential in the following decade.

Nikola Poposki

Sixth Ministerial Conference for South-Eastern Europe at “Aspen” Institute

Germany and Britain want to offer help for the Balkan united into EU.

According to the participants in Berlin, the Balkan looks better today compared to ten years ago. There is a real integration between the countries and approximation to EU.

We should not be naive – the job is not done because:

1. More reforms will be expected.
2. There will be radicals who will seek space for radical agendas.
3. There will be resistance in the public opinion within EU.
4. There will be discouraged membership candidates.

All this will need to be resolved in the following few years.

 

Nikola Poposki

Bratislava, Vishegrad Group and WB6, points:

- The Vishegrad countries want partnership relations with the Balkan countries, not preaching ones. We should appreciate that.
- If we were ideal countries, we would not have needed EU membership. But we are not.
- The best development opportunities are in EU.

Nikola Poposki

In November, in Berlin with the German and British colleague Steinmeier and Hammond I will discuss our region. The meeting will be in line with the Berlin and Wien conference scheduled for the following year. Special emphasis will be placed on stimulating economies, cross-border infrastructure and Euro-integrations.
To us, the German-British interest in the future of SEE is very important.

Nikola Poposki

 

The Czech and Macedonian relations are on excellent level.

We are mostly committed to develop the co-operation for business and investments, as well as in education, health and culture.

At the same, the Czech Republic is a strong supporter of Macedonia’s integration into NATO and EU.

The credibility of integrations is very important to them, and in Macedonia this issue is seriously violated due to the unprincipled blockades.

 

Nikola Poposki

Macedonian-Greek Relations
“The mountains are still standing tall around the imposed dispute. We are looking around them for canyons of co-operation. Law and force – these two things not always go hand in hand. In Macedonian-Greek relations they collide”.
“However, there are shared interests for projects and co-operation that will help us to progress and to bridge the distrust which exists between us. This is good for Greece too, to turn away the attention from the damage they are causing to us with the blockades, both economic and political. This is less damaging for Macedonia compared to the alternative of not having any shared interests with the South”.
“Regarding the UN Process, the results depend only on the commitment and interest of the one who imposed it and the one over whom the disputed is imposed. In that moment, there is no dilemma whether the Southern neighbours are committed to finding a solution and less to international law and order”.

 

Nikola Poposki

 

“It might be a bit absurd that in our case the law obviously does not dominate the adoption of political decisions for membership”.

“The Bucharest Summit is a political reality. We cannot ignore the consequences of the decisions”.

“The Decision adopted by ICJ in The Hague is a legal reality. It cannot be ignored, if we all together believe that rule of law is our main objective”.

“3,200 Macedonian soldiers in mission that defend shared values – this is the reality”.

“We should not neglect it if we want credible partnership and long-lasting peace”.

Nikola Poposki

Berlin, the next morning:
The interest of Germany is like oxygen to the region, especially after the burst of scepticism towards EU and the EU enlargement.
There is consent that EU will not admit new members in the course of this decade. However, there is awareness that leaving the Balkan on its own is not the best solution and will bring risks.
The offer is reforms, infrastructure and fight for grow… supported by Brussels, from distance, and with interests coming from Berlin, Wien, and Paris… The comparative access to funds between a country-candidate and an EU member state with ration 1:6, we will need to be very cunning. In practice, it is very clear that the results will depend on us, here in the region!
Despite the challenges, one of my colleagues had excellent point: EU is still more popular at the Balkan than within EU itself… There has to be a reason for that.

 

Nikola Poposki

 

“With Peterle we agree: EC claims 5 year break, we must use the time to be ready, but when we are, EU needs to be ready too”.

Nikola Poposki