Zaev: EU to speed up enlargement process because exclusion encourages opponents of European unity and values

Zaev: EU to speed up enlargement process because exclusion encourages opponents of European unity and values

The Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, met with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who is on a one-day working visit to North Macedonia.

Zoran Zaev received the President of the European Commission, accompanied by the Head of the EU Delegation to North Macedonia, Ambassador David Geer, after which a bilateral meeting was held with the participation of the Vice President of the Government responsible for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani and Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska.

The Prime Minister of North Macedonia and the President of the European Commission visited the Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje, which has been renovated with European Union funds, and examined the report on the benefits of the Youth Guarantee, a project implemented in North Macedonia as the only non-EU country which covered 60,000 young people in order to reduce unemployment in this population.

During the visit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the delivery of the first tranche of €2.6 million, out of a total of €15 million, for budgetary support to the country for youth education and employment policies.

At the press conference held at the end of the agenda of the one-day visit of EU President Ursula von der Leyen to our country, Prime Minister Zaev stressed that the Republic of North Macedonia remains firmly committed to the EU course.

“We have taken all the necessary steps and reforms and will take the additional acceptable ones to unblock the EU enlargement. We hope that EU member states will implement the Brdo-Kranj declaration of the Slovenian presidency that they remain committed to EU enlargement with the Western Balkan countries,” said PM Zaev.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, at the press conference, praised North Macedonia’s efforts for EU-related reforms.

“You have made tremendous progress and have taken courageous decisions. You have delivered and now the EU must deliver. The future of North Macedonia will be European. The European Commission is firm in this commitment,” said the President of the European Commission at a press conference concluding her one-day visit to our country./ibna