Marichikj: EU spot awaits us, now is time for bold decisions and reaffirmation of consensus over European future

Our EU spot awaits us, now is the time for bold decisions and reaffirmation of the consensus over North Macedonia’s European future and EU membership, said Deputy PM for European Affairs Bojan Marichikj after Monday’s meeting with members of the ‘Weimar Triangle’, i.e. France’s Minister of State for Europe Laurence Boone, Minister of State for Europe and Climate in Germany’s Federal Foreign Office Anna Lührmann, and Poland’s Minister for the European Union Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, who are paying a two-day official visit to Skopje.

Deputy PM Marichikj told a joint press conference after the meeting that the country is committed to resuming its European path and prepared to meet the reform priorities in the short term.

Marichikj voiced expectation that all political parties and MPs would contribute to an intensified process of accession negotiations, urging for adoption of the constitutional amendments and “overcoming the period without any harm and the possibility of going back to the waiting room or the isolated past”.

The constitutional amendments, he added, will demonstrate the real care for the interests of the country and its citizens, we have an opportunity that rarely comes and we should seize it.

“The tone and the positive atmosphere coming from our European partners and allies, along with the new plan for accelerated integration put forward by the European Commission, represent a sufficient cause for optimism and incentive for us to create conditions for fresh dynamics in the process. The Government is committed to guiding the country on the European path, we are prepared to meet the reform priorities in the short term and prove that we are a country that has the capacity to make progress on the European path and a champion of European values. Therefore, we are not giving up on dialogue for the most important process and political consensus regarding the EU. I expect all political parties and MPs to build on the success a year ago, so that we intensify the negotiating process. Let’s make the constitutional revision through strategic and proactive policies, and overcome the period without any harm and the possibility of going back to the waiting room or the isolated past. We have gone through that and we don’t want it again for the citizens and the future generations. We have a rare opportunity ahead of us, one that only Croatia had from this area, which it used wisely. I believe North Macedonia can use it as well, so that we serve as a positive example for the region,” noted Marichikj.

The Deputy PM added that the Government is committed to the European system of values and Europeanization of the society.

“What is also important for us is to see the answer to the question regarding the next enlargement round, especially now that we face a process that decides the track that North Macedonia will continue to move on. The entire region requires a clear timeframe but also a reform framework over its EU membership that will encourage us to continue in meeting the tasks at a new pace, thus bringing back the credibility of the enlargement policy. This is not important only for our region but also for Ukraine, which is under Russian aggression, as well as for the region around Ukraine,” said Marichikj.

According to him, North Macedonia only seeking its deserved place in the EU during the next enlargement round.

“Let’s make sure that we complete our tasks in time and have a plan over our EU accession. This is a good time for a country that meets the conditions and reaffirms through its example that it can serve as a success story for the EU and the region,” underlined Marichikj.