Those who make decisions and implement reforms will be the first to join the EU, whereas the ones who don’t will enter the Union when they show courage for this, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski told a press conference within the Berlin Process Summit in Tirana on Monday, writes MIA.
Quizzed by reporters whether he had talked with Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte over his position of not giving enlargement deadlines, PM Kovachevski said The Netherlands is North Macedonia’s big friend and added that better prepared countries will join the EU faster.
“PM Rutte is a big friend of our country and his positions are always clear. When it comes to enlargement, the statement of the European Council President and other leaders was very clear – they want to see the EU ready for enlargement by 2030, which means that reforms must take place in Union members, so it can operate with more member-states. Nevertheless, it is a fact that those who are more prepared will join earlier, those less prepared will enter later. There is no deadline for all countries to join together,” said Kovachevski.
He added that North Macedonia is an example of this, since the country started the EU path together with Croatia, which is now an EU member and part of the Schengen area.
“We are not because we did not make decisions. There was a decade-long period, during which the country’s leadership considered that it should not take decisions related to the EU accession, and we are now seeing the result of this. This will be the case for the future as well. Those who make decisions and implement reforms will be the first to join the EU, whereas the ones who don’t will enter the Union when they show courage for this,” said Kovachevski.
On the messages of European leaders regarding the need for reforms in the countries of the Western Balkans, the PM said goodneighborly relations and reforms are the foundation for the area’s EU integration.
“These messages will come from the EU if the region is continually burdened by conflicts and political forces look back into the past, if the Western Balkans six fail to turn to the future. Seventy years ago, six states established the EU by overcoming their differences, considering their histories in past centuries and two world wars,” added Kovachevski.
According to him, the enlargement issue is finally high on the EU agenda.
“If enlargement was in the focus of the aspirant-states before, today it is in EU’s interest. The Union has already launched its process of internal reforms in order to be prepared for its functioning after the accession of those who are prepared, since decisions are taken based on individual merit and implemented reforms,” underlined PM Kovachevski.