OSMANI: I EXPECT SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT OF THE USE OF IPA FUNDS WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IPA MASTER PLAN
Deputy Prime Minister of the Government in charge of European Affairs, Bujar Osmani, within his visit to Brussels had a meeting with Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans within the General Directorate for Neighborhood and Enlargement negotiations in the European Union, DG NEAR.
Osmani presented the situation of the progress of the Republic of Macedonia in the EU integration processes, while highlighting the implementation of Plan 3-6-9, as well as the progress made in removing the political obstacles to the EU and NATO accession. "Local elections were a test for the government and its capacity to implement the envisaged measures and activities and apply them consistently in practice," Osmani stated. He added that the elections were assessed as fair, free and credible by the domestic and international institutions that monitored the elections, among which of course is the OSCE/ODIHR, as the most relevant institution that monitored the elections.
Osmani also underlined the commitment of the Government to focus again on the European and reform agenda, which should result in the full implementation of all necessary reforms that the Union requires from Macedonia, which are, or will be, appropriately noted in the remaining parts of the Plan 3-6-9.
At the meeting with Calavera Ruiz, the issues on the utilization of IPA funds in Macedonia were opened, for which Osmani pointed out that the the so-called IPA Mater Plan is in final phase, which contains measures and activities that need to improve the IPA structure, as well as to improve the absorption capacity for utilisation of IPA funds.
"We prepare the IPA master plan together with the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, for which we have regular meetings, and it will very soon be presented to the public and its implementation shall start." - stressed Osmani at the meeting. He added that he expects that the European Commission and all its bodies will support the reforms of the IPA structure, because, Osmani said, this means bringing closer the European standards, which is one of the most important reasons for the whole process of European integration.
Osmani is on a two-day visit to Brussels where, among others, he had meetings with the European Commission Vice President and High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, Frederica Mogherini, as well as with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn.