Hectic schedule for Zaev in Sofia, he will meet Tsipras, Macron, Merkel, Kurz and Rutte

Skopje, 15 May, 2018 - 14:03 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will take part in the European Union Western Balkans Summit which is to be held on 17th of May and hosted by Bulgaria, which currently holds the Presidency of the European Council. During the Summit, he is also expected to meet with Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras.

“The Prime Minister will participate in a plenary session on the theme of ‘Connectivity’, and during the working lunch between the heads of state and governments, as well as high representatives of the bodies of the European Union, will speak on the topic “Tackling Common Challenges”. Zaev will hold bilateral meetings with several prime ministers and heads of state. Bilateral meetings have been planned with French President Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte”, informs the government.

Prime Minister Zaev also plans to hold bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of Austria, Sweden and Estonia, Sebastian Kurz, Stefan Löfven and Jüri Ratas.

Zaev was invited to participate and speak at conferences to be held in parallel with the EU Summit in Sofia.

Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov will also participate at the Summit in Sofia.

Zaev – Hahn: Citizens deserve the recommendation, Macedonia is back on the European path

Skopje, 18 April, 2018 - 10:55 (META) 

The government is now even more energetic to lead the reform processes, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev this morning at a joint press conference with EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

“We are ready to take a new step forward. The clear recommendation is a strong motive for the next difficult but achievable goal. The decision for a date for negotiations at the June Summit is our next goal. We are very determined to carry out substantive reforms. We will define a new plan for the realization of the reforms by the end of 2018. The European Commission’s report valued all our committed efforts that are characteristic of a democratically oriented state”, said Zaev who thanked all the citizens, the civil sector and all political parties for the recent success.

EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said he was happy to be in Skopje and congratulated both the Government and the opposition.

“Lets enjoy the moment and the duty to continue what was started. This is the path towards the EU, and I think it’s a good path. Much remains to be done. Now, the laws must be implemented. It is not enough just to change the laws. I congratulate the Government and the opposition because they were constructive in achieving this national goal. The citizens of Macedonia deserved this recommendation. The country has come a long way despite the difficult circumstances and are firmly back on the European path”, said Hahn, who personally handed over the progress report to Prime Minister Zaev.

Zaev: We have worked hard and deserve a crystal clear recommendation

Skopje, 16 April, 2018 - 19:09 (META) 

The fact is, we have worked hard and Macedonia truly deserves a crystal clear recommendation from Brussels, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on the eve of the announcement of the report of the European Commission and the arrival of High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Skopje

“The words in that recommendation are important to me, because for us it is either encouragement or discouragement. It is important for the citizens and for all involved in the reform processes. Following this recommendation, Macedonia will continue with the reforms. And, indeed, if our efforts are confirmed, we expect to receive a crystal clear recommendation. I believe that we will deserve it and it will be an additional motivation to move forward with the reforms,” said Zaev.

In response to a journalist’s question, he said it was still too early to talk about the reconstruction of the government, and firstly, talks on increasing the parliamentary majority should be completed.

“We have not got there yet. I said that by the end of this month we will discuss the increase of the parliamentary majority. First in order, is to see how much it will grow and if it grows. Accordingly, the next stage would be combining personnel solutions. It’s still really early,” Zaev said.

Lavrov: The EU is passive in regards to the Tirana platform and the violation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement

Belgrade, 22 February, 2018 - 16:02 (META) 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, at a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, reiterated Macedonia yesterday, stating that Moscow is “concerned about the EU’s passivity with regard to the initiative coming from Tirana about the “Tirana platform” which, as he said, is “an explicit call for creating a Greater Albania”.

“There are enough examples which give us cause for concern. Most recently, when parliamentary elections were held in Macedonia, the chairman of the parliament, once elected to this post, entered his office and put an Albanian flag on his desk. In Macedonia! The other day, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama proudly announced that it was he who, from Albania, initiated a draft law in the Macedonian parliament that gives the Albanian language the status of the state language”, said Lavrov answering a journalist’s question at a press conference with Vucic, during his official visit to Serbia.

In this way, said the Russian Foreign Minister, the Ohrid Framework Agreement was abrogated “which everyone took with a sigh of relief and which created a basis for overcoming the crisis in Macedonia many years ago.”

“If someone tries to erode these achievements and agreements, then things that it took so much effort to develop as well as agree upon, be it in Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, or elsewhere in western Balkans, will be lost. I believe we have every reason to ask the European Union to report back to us on how it fulfills its own decisions and to what extent it is up to the credit of trust that the international community has given it”, stated Lavrov.

Russian MFA on Strategy for the Western Balkans: Our principle is not “with us or against us”

Moscow, 9 February, 2018 - 12:55 (META) 

Russia sees no obstacles in developing relations with countries that want to become members of the European Union, and does not approach them with the principle “with us or against us,” said a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zaharova when she was asked to comment on the European Commission’s Strategy for EU Enlargement with countries from the Western Balkans, including Macedonia.

Zakharova did not want to comment on the Strategy, pointing out that they, “should study it first” and then “share its conclusions”.

“As far as our relations with both the Western Balkan countries and the European Union countries are concerned, they are of fundamental importance to us. We are developing relations with these countries, as well as with the integrative associations in which they belong”, said Zakharova, answering a question regarding how the Russian MFA assesses the European Commission’s Strategy and what impact it will have on Moscow’s relations with the countries of this region and with the European Union.

She pointed out that Russia’s position has always been clear on this issue.

“We, of course, set off from EU membership and the respective obligations of the countries of the Union, and we strive for harmonious development in several directions, both in the bilateral format and in the format of the Union. As far as those non-EU members are concerned and looking at their membership or closer interaction with the European Union, we see no obstacles in developing relations with them and we never force the question “you are with us or against us.” We are always for the harmonization of these relationships. We believe that practice and experience show that such a way is possible”, said Zakharova.

Žbogar: The negotiations with Greece are promising and we are hoping for a happy ending

Skopje, 6 February, 2018 - 17:19 (META) 

The good neighborly relations are one of the principles of the European Union and all bilateral issues of the countries have to be resolved before their accession in the EU, stressed today the Head of the EU’s delegation in Macedonia, Samuel Žbogar after the presentation of European Commission’s Western Balkan Strategy in Strasburg.

-The government began the negotiations with Greece. That is encouraging and it’s good to have a dialogue. We are hoping that the process will have a happy ending. We are part of the negotiations that are led under the supervision of the United Nation. but we are encouraging both sides to reach a solution – said the Euro Ambassador, who also said that the Agreement with Bulgaria is very important because Macedonia after its signing has a great friend in the EU.

He stressed that 2018 is a key year because it is the last from Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s mandate, because Bulgaria and Austria are presiding with the Union and because neither Macedonia nor Greece don’t have elections and the politicians can easily make their decisions.

According to him, the year of 2025 as an enlargement date is very ambitious, but a potential date and he also said that it all depends on the countries on basis of their merits.

Tusk: The Balkans’ history is more dramatic than the Game of Thrones series even though there aren’t any dragons there

Sofia, 12 January, 2018 - 13:28 (META) 

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk looks upon the history of the Balkans as more dramatic and more interesting than the popular TV series Game of Thrones.

At the inauguration of the Bulgarian EU presidency in Sofia, he warned against the Game of Thrones screenplay happening in the Western Balkans, where Brussels is trying to maintain tight connections with the countries that want to join the EU.

“The history of the Balkans is more dramatic and interesting than the screenplay of ‘Game of Thrones’, even if there are no dragons in it. We would all like it if the present and future of the Balkans were less like dramatic screenplays. Stability, security, prosperity — this is what the people of the whole region deserve. And the EU’s purpose is to help make this screenplay a reality” said Tusk.

The Cyrillic alphabet, traditional embroidery and the national tricolor in the logo of the Bulgarian presidency with EU

Sofia, 2 January, 2018 - 12:36 (META) 

Bulgaria, which took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union presented the logo under which it will lead the Union in the forthcoming 6 months.

As stated on the official Twitter profile created for this purpose, the logo depicts three symbols that represent the Bulgarian identity -the Cyrillic Alphabet, traditional embroidery and the national tricolor.

“The logo reflects the idea that Bulgaria is an integral part of Europe and at the same time unique among the other countries in the Community.”

The artist Todor Angeliev is the author, and his design was selected by a professional jury guided by the idea of an original and innovative author’s design.

“The visual identity of the Bulgarian Presidency is in the colours of the European Union. The elements are borrowed from the stars in the flag of the Union. The authors are a team of artists from the National Academy of Fine Arts – Svetlin Balezdrov, Nenko Atanasov and Milena Abanos. Consultants: Prof. Georgi Yankov and Assoc. Prof. Miroslav Bogdanov.” states the information regarding the Bulgarian presidential logo.

Siyarto: We want EU in February to set a date for starting the negotiations with Macedonia

Skopje, 18 December, 2017 - 14:05 (META) 

The next NATO summitt is unthinkable without the issue of expansion, and we want the EU to set a date in February about starting the negoations with Macedonia, said today the Minister of Foreign PAffairs and Trade of Hungary, Peter Siyarto during the joint press conference with the Head of the Macedonian diplomacy.

-Hungary will continue to provide its support to Macedonia and the countries of Western Balkans and it knows the difference. We know the difference between a calm situation in the region and its opposite. We want this region to be peaceful, we want the Western Balkans to be a source and an asset for a further European development, instead of risk for Europe. The conditions int he Western Balkans can be surpassed with its integration in EU and NATO. We know that Macedonia and the Macedonian nation have already done a lot in order to integrate into EU and NATO and Hungary remains its outspoken supporter for the efforts for Macedonia’s integration into EU and NATO. We would like the enlargement to be a part of the daily agenda on the next NATO summit, said Siyarto.

Dimitrov expressed his gratitude for Hungary’s support for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integrations and stressed that the new government in a very short time has managed to improve the quality of the relations with the international partners, especially with the member countries of the EU.

-It took a very short time to breathe new quality into the relations with the EU. I introduced the minister with our good neighborly policy and our investment in the good relations with the neighbors. We are determined to do everything we can not to miss the next train to Europe that is opening up in 2018, said Dimitrov.

Žbogar: Luck is on the side of the brave people, but we have to be patient and see what happens

Skopje, 17 December, 2017 - 12:37 (META) 

The European Union sees the goodwill on both sides regarding the solving of the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia, said the Europ Ambassador Samuel Žbogar in the interview for “TV 24” and said that the improved atmosphere will ease the dealing with this sensitive issue.

-I understand the emotions around this issue, including the worries and the frustration about this dispute. But, you have to ask yourself, the way this was dealt in the past, did it make the country better? Did it progress the state? If the answer is “No” then now at least is the opportunity to try to solve the problem. It is a chance because among the member countries there is an excitement that maybe we can move this country forward because we see engagement and readiness on part of Greece, we see a better atmosphere, and we see this window next year when there will not be any elections, and maybe this will help to concentrate on this issue – said Žbogar for TV 24.

In the interview, the Euro-Ambassador stressed that it is always good to be an optimist than being depressed and to say there is nothing you can do. In the context of that, he said that the Government looks ready to engage in talks regardless if there are no guarantees they will be successful.

-Luck is on the side of the brave people, so I think we should be patient and to see. So far, we had one meeting, and we will have to wait to see what will come out of that – said Žbogar.