The President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, as part of his visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and participation in the 56th Munich Security Conference, spoke at the roundtable “Balkan Dialogues” yesterday.

Speaking of good neighborly relations and cooperation as one of the key factors for ensuring stability in the region, President Pendarovski referred to the positive examples of North Macedonia, i.e. the Prespa Agreement and the Agreement on Good Neighborly Relations and Cooperation with Bulgaria.

Stressing that NATO membership as a strategic political and security goal for North Macedonia would positively affect the stability and prosperity of the entire region, President Pendarovski expressed satisfaction with the dynamics and speed of ratification of the Accession Protocol in all member states. In this regard, the President noted that the procedure in Spain for ratification of the Protocol for our membership in the Alliance is expected to be completed by the beginning of the elections in our country.

Referring to the aspirations of North Macedonia for membership in the European Union, President Pendarovski assessed that the intention of the European Union to play a greater geopolitical role in the region is fully acceptable to us. He added that our country and the region need not only access to the common European market, but acceptance of European democratic values that will greatly accelerate the reform processes and build stable and accountable institutions.

Welcoming the announcement of the new methodology for conducting accession negotiations, he expressed expectation that its adoption would create conditions for setting a date for the start of accession negotiations at the upcoming European Council meeting in March 2020.

Among other things, President Pendarovski also referred to the economic cooperation of the Western Balkan countries, emphasizing the importance of regional initiatives, stressing that this is by no means an alternative to the European Union, but that such initiatives should be carried out in parallel with the integration into the Union. In this context, President Pendarovski reiterated the position that all Western Balkan countries should recognize the advantages of regional cooperation and soon become part of existing initiatives.