15th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee
Skopje, 19-20 June 2018
The 15th meeting of the Stabilisation
and Association Committee took place on 19/20 June 2018 in Skopje. The
meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Kalinka Gaber, State Secretary for European
Affairs and Mr. David Cullen, Head of Unit in the Directorate General for
European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations at the European
The European Commission reiterated the messages of
High Representative/Vice President Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn by
congratulating Prime Ministers Tsipras and Zaev for their determination
and leadership in reaching the historic agreement on the name issue between
their countries, which contributes to the transformation of the entire region.
The SA Committee took stock of the state of play in
relation to the political and economic criteria, alignment with the EU
legislation (acquis), as well as implementation of the Stabilisation and
The national authorities provided an overview on the
progress of reforms and efforts to maintain and deepen the current reform
momentum, in particular in important areas such as the judiciary, establishing
accountability for the wiretaps, the reform of intelligence services, public
administration reform, fight against corruption, respect for fundamental
rights, electoral reform and freedom of media.
The authorities reiterated their
commitment to make all necessary efforts to ensure inclusiveness and
transparency of the process by taking onboard all stakeholders in society.
The national authorities underlined that Plan 3-6-9
was successful in setting the trajectory for long-term, sustainable progress
though the adoption of necessary strategies and legislation. They informed that
the Government is currently drafting Plan 18 to address the key priorities and
recommendations of the 2018 Report. They outlined that the reform dynamics will
additionally be ensured and deepened by the revision of the National Programme
for Adoption of the Acquis as a comprehensive platform for the EU reform agenda
and preparation for accession negotiations.
The European Commission reiterated its 17 April recommendation to open accession negotiations, in the light of the progress the country has achieved, which the Council will discuss at the end of June.
The European Commission encouraged all parties to maintain the constructive dialogue and continue to deepen the current reform momentum, in particular in important areas such as those listed above.
The European Commission outlined the importance of making progress in the alignment with the EU acquis, especially in relation to the internal market, and the need to meet other international commitments, for instance on energy and transport connectivity. Both sides welcomed the upcoming passage to stage 2 of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.