PES pushes for positive decision on North Macedonia at next EU Council

17/09/2019

Zoran Zaev and Sergei Stanishev

Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, meeting with PES President Sergei Stanishev in Skopje

The immediate start of the pre-accession negotiations for North Macedonia’s accession to the EU must be agreed at the next European Council, PES President Sergei Stanishev said today following a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, in Skopje.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Brexit continues to put membership of the European Union into the news for all the wrong reasons. It is time that Europe also focussed on the states which are working productively with their neighbours to enhance cooperation and prosperity in Europe. It is about time the EU agreed a start date for the negotiation around North Macedonia’s accession. Thanks to the work of Prime Minister Zaev, the country is rapidly reaching the point where EU membership is the obvious and viable next step. The PES wants a positive decision on this by the next EU Council in October.”

The PES has long called for North Macedonia’s inclusion into the family of EU member states. The government’s strong commitment to democracy, progress on the rule of law, NATO accession, and recent agreements reached with the neighbouring countries - Bulgaria and Greece, are all strong evidence that the Western Balkans nation is ready to begin accession to the EU.

“I am glad that the progressive government of North Macedonia is advancing its social agenda, as it promised to the citizens. The team of Zoran Zaev is doing great in reducing the unemployment and protecting social rights”, Stanishev added.

Radmila Shekerinska and Sergei Stanishev

North Macedonia Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, and PES President Sergei Stanishev speak at a press conference in Skopje today

During the meeting with Sergei Stanishev, Prime Minister Zaev thanked the PES for supporting the country’s accession to NATO, and its continuing efforts to join the European Union. As part of the visit, the PES President also met with the North Macedonia Minister of Defence and member of the PES presidency Radmila Shekerinska.