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Skopje: Joint Committee on European Integration between Montenegro and Macedonia holds its third meeting

Skopje: Joint Committee on European Integration between Montenegro and Macedonia holds its third meeting
Published date: 18.09.2017 14:32 | Author: MEP

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Direct exchange of know-how and experience and work on preparation and implementation of important joint projects presents an example of successful regional cooperation in the context of EU accession, was assessed at the third meeting of the Joint Committee for application of the Agreement on Cooperation between the Government of Montenegro and Macedonia in the context of accession to the European Union, which was held today in Skopje.

MEPThe meeting was opened by the Minister of European Affairs Aleksandar Andrija Pejović and Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Macedonia for European Affairs Bujar Osmani, who assessed the cooperation hitherto between the two countries as very successful and expressed readiness for intensifying it with the aim of achieving a better and faster integration into the EU. Within three working sessions, representatives of the two countries exchanged the views on the current status of the negotiating process in the area of rule of law, as well as in Chapters 8 Competition and Chapter 22 Regional policy and coordination of structural instruments.    

Minister Pejović noted that the Government of Montenegro, as the first country conducting negotiations on the membership in the Union under the new approach, gives absolute priority to the reform activities in the area of rule of law, on whose success the whole negotiating process depends. He pointed out that Montenegro is in the final phase of meeting the interim benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, and that it will gladly share its lessons learned with its colleagues from Macedonia aimed at their quality preparation for opening and conducting accession negotiations.

"We met in Skopje today in order to share our knowledge and experience related to negotiations with colleagues from Macedonian administration, because we want to see our neighbours progressing on the European path" Minister Pejović stated.

Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani indicated that the EU membership was the strategic goal of the fYR of Macedonia, and the European integration process was impetus for further work on the democratization of the state and society, and underlined commitment of the state administration to the fulfilment of conditions for full-fledged membership. He emphasized that Montenegro’s experience in negotiations with the EU, and particularly lessons learned and practical solutions in several negotiating fields, were rather important for the fYR of Macedonia, which is preparing for the advanced stage of the integration process. Messages from the EU and reinforced trust in the enlargement policy, as he stated, represent an additional motif for all countries of the region to continue with their reform processes.

During the meeting, participants indicated the importance of cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans under the accession process, while the Montenegrin side reiterated its readiness to share their recent experience with neighbours. In that context, it was concluded that the meetings of the joint committees between the two countries substantially contribute to strengthening of regional cooperation and dimension in the European integration process.