Maricic appeals to EU members to accept the growth plan
We expect at next week's Summit that the Council will support the Growth Plan, as it is now under review by member states. This is the growth plan that we were looking for as an idea, we from the Western Balkans, from North Macedonia have asked Brussels and the EU to enable us to have some benefits from the common market, in the field of transport, trade, agriculture, before membership. in the field of green transition, environmental protection, infrastructure building, etc., says the Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Maricic in an interview for MIA.
He added that of course the plan is tied to serious reforms in the financial system, the way the budget is managed, strengthening transparency and control over the spending of money, as well as reforms in law and the judiciary.
- These reforms will be tied to specific financial aid and financing of specific projects by the European Union. There are six billion for the entire region, a serious part of it belongs to us, according to the size of the country and the economy, so that Plan allows us to speed up the reforms, to get additional financial assistance that we do not have now, additional from the IPA funds and from all other funds that are currently available to us - said Maricic.
The Vice Prime Minister sent an appeal to the EU member states to accept this plan, to support and predict the budgetary implications in the EU Budget, so that the mechanism is functional and acceptable for us.
- If everything goes as planned, I think that at the beginning of the second quarter of next year, that means April somewhere, we should have the first planned funds for North Macedonia and we should have them paid out by May at the latest. It is a dynamic instrument, which we need in some way to motivate us to do some things related to the reforms faster, it is the responsibility of both the Government and the Assembly, so here all political parties will need to show maturity and that's why we want to we insist that this plan be considered in an inclusive way, and on the other hand, the EU should react quickly and provide funds that we can use and finance the projects already in the first half of the next year - said the vice-prime minister.
- We forget that just seven years ago, the reports of the European Commission sounded terrible, they pointed to a trapped state here in North Macedonia. Today we are in a situation where in just seven years we can expect to be a member of the European Union and that is an essential difference that we should understand as our chance, says Maricic.
He added that the country has a real opportunity in seven years to be where we have wanted and dreamed of being for decades. The Vice Prime Minister emphasized that the Western Balkans Development Plan is a dynamic instrument that should motivate us to implement reforms faster.
-Such speed and intensity in such instruments is seen for the first time in the last 20 years since the processes of our integration began, and that is to be welcomed. This is what we needed, because usually the European Union was always blamed, but also this whole process of European aid that goes very slowly, very long and that the effects are seen after a long time and late. Now with this approach we will have effects faster and we will have visible effects that will restore the credibility of the Union, but also the dynamics in our reform process - said Maricic.