Maricic today at a meeting of the Board of the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans

Photo: Free Press

The Vice Prime Minister in charge of European affairs and the main negotiator of the country with the EU, Bojan Maricic, will today attend the fifth meeting of the Strategic Board of the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans (VBIF) together with the Director General of the Directorate for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission (NEAR). ), Gert Jan Köppmann and with the Director General of the Department for Europe and International Trade at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Frode Overland Andersen.

As reported by the MIA correspondent from Brussels, the topic of the talks will be the EU enlargement policy with special emphasis on the EC Plan for the growth of the Western Balkans, as well as the course of reforms and other current developments in the country.

With today's meeting, Maricic ends his several-day visit to Brussels, during which yesterday he gave an opening address at the bilateral meeting on "Chapter 31 - Common Foreign and Security Policy" from Cluster 6, with the closure of which officially ended the screening process of North Macedonia.

He pointed out that we are looking forward to the positive momentum of our European integration path, emphasizing the importance of the successful completion of the comprehensive cycle of the screening process initiated by the new accession methodology and emphasizing the collective determination to advance the integration of the country in the European Union.

Before the last session of the screening, Maricic said that considering our commitment and efforts to become a full member of the EU, he expects the European Council next week to receive a recommendation to continue with the second Intergovernmental Conference.

- With this, every next step in the process of our country's accession to the European Union, as well as the dynamics of negotiations, will depend only on us, on the adoption of the constitutional amendments. We are at a key point in our history that will transform Macedonian society. This is a historic moment for North Macedonia, for the Western Balkans and for the European Union. We must use this opportunity without hesitation, without worries and without fear, but with the conviction that it will contribute to the prosperity of the state and citizens, said Maricic.

According to him, delaying or blocking the process of negotiations and the membership of North Macedonia in the EU represents a danger for our reforms and development.

- I am confident that with the majority of Macedonian citizens who want to see the Republic of North Macedonia in the European Union in 2030, together we will succeed. Let's overcome the obstacles together and secure the European future for current and future generations, said the Vice Prime Minister for European Affairs.

In addition to participating in the final session of the screening process, Vice Prime Minister Maricic also had working meetings with the Vice President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for the Promotion of the European Way of Living, Margaritis Schinas.

Schinas announced after the X meeting that North Macedonia has already taken big steps towards joining the EU. - We encourage our friends in Skopje to seize the momentum and continue with key reforms, with a focus on constitutional amendments and the rule of law, Schinas said in the announcement.

Maricic also had a briefing meeting with the delegates from the Working Group of the European Council for Enlargement and Countries Negotiating EU Membership (COELA), which discussed the successful completion of the screening process, the next plans regarding the submission of the necessary documents for implementation of the reforms, the strategy for the Growth Plan that the country is currently developing, as well as the challenges on the way to the EU.

On Wednesday, Maricic, together with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, participated in the bilateral meeting of the screening process after "Chapter 30 - External relations" from Cluster 6, as well as in a debate in the European Parliament dedicated to the enlargement of the EU with MEPs from the ranks of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (SD).

On the first day of his working visit to Brussels on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Maricic attended and addressed the seminar organized by SD on the topic "Shaping the Progressive Agenda for Enlargement".

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