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Conference "Experiences in the accession negotiations- what is right and what is wrong"
14:44, Friday, September 21, 2018

Today, in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co-organization with the Secretariat for European Affairs and the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia was held a Conference on topic "The Experiences in the Accession Negotiations -what is right and what is wrong" where Kalinka Gaber, State Secretary in the Secretariat for European Affairs, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate General for Accession Negotiations and Neighborhood Policy, had opening addresses, and also experiences and good practices were exchanged by Bojan Maricic, chief technical negotiator, Andrej Engelman, former member of the negotiating team of the Republic of Slovenia, Vladimir Ateljevic, member of the negotiating team for Chapters 30 and 31 from the Republic of Serbia and Dragan Markovic, adviser to the chief negotiator of Montenegro.

"Having in mind that the Republic of Macedonia is entering the final phase of the European integration process, i.e. is starting with preparations for accession negotiations, the moment of holding this Conference could not be better given the fact that we have recently drawn out the contours of the negotiating structure, but also that these days we are intensively preparing ourselves for the first explanatory screening for Chapter 23 to be held next week in Brussels - stated State Secretary Gaber in the introduction speech before the participants.

After the adoption of the conclusions of the June EU Council, endorsed by the European Council, which sets a clear opportunity for the start of accession negotiations in June 2019, the Republic of Macedonia enters the next phase of our relations with the European Union, which is the screening process that at the same time is a logical consequence of all the events of the past year and a half when the Government showed concrete results in the implementation of reforms and the closure of open internal issues both internally and with the neighbours.

In this context, the Government will remain focused on the urgent reform priorities translated into Plan18, demonstrating that there is a political will and administrative capacity to maintain the reform momentum and to convince EU member states, especially those holding certain reserves, that in June 2019 we deserve a date for start of the accession negotiations.

"The European Integration is a strategic goal of the country since its independence. It is a goal that is unconditionally supported by all political parties, all social actors and, most importantly, by the citizens of Macedonia - in a word, the EU membership is the strongest cohesive factor and main driving force that unites us on all grounds, which for a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional a country with a specific geographical location is more than a political floss"Gaber said.

The European integration is not a magic stick. They are not our panacea. We are absolutely aware that we must continue to work on the state of our democracy and the rule of law, on the fight against corruption, but also economic and social welfare. But the accession negotiations give us meaning and purpose. That's why we need them - because in this way the reforms will be channelled through a clear and precisely defined process of targets, control and delivery. The negotiations will be a kind of recognition of our maturity - both for the internal achievements of the reform agenda, as well as for the significant achievements of our foreign policy, especially in the area of good neighbourly relations.

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