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SOCIETY Spasovski-Sekulović: Strong regional connectivity leads to quicker EU accession

Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and Montenegrin counterpart Sergej Sekulović held on Monday a working meeting during which they agreed to strengthen and promote bilateral police cooperation, especially in areas related to EU integration.

At a press conference after the meeting, Sekulović stressed excellent bilateral relations, noting similarities between the two multiethnic societies.

“By building strong institutions and justice systems, we send the message that cooperation between multiethnic societies in the Balkans is possible,” the Montenegrin MoI said.

Minister Spasovski underlined that North Macedonia and Montenegro will in the upcoming period work on strengthening international cooperation as key precondition for successfully managing transnational crime and illegal migration at regional and international level, this confirming commitment to European prospects.

Spasovski and Sekulović agreed that transnational organized crime is becoming more and more complex, which calls for strengthening regional and international cooperation.

Focus, the ministers noted, will be put on busting international organized crime groups. They expressed readiness to create favorable political and security conditions crucial for the EU integration progress.

Moreover, the ministers said that bilateral cooperation is set to intensify, adding that each country can count on the other for support in achieving tasks on the European agenda.

MoI Spasovski stressed the importance of the efforts North Macedonia’s Interior Ministry has been making to improve international and regional cooperation, focusing on exchange of field practices regarding challenges EU and Western Balkans countries face in busting transnational organized crime groups.

“By contributing to regional security, we’re contributing to the stability of the European Union, which has a global impact. Cooperation between the Interior Ministries of North Macedonia and Montenegro is excellent and based on strong bilateral relations,” Spasovski said.

According to him, organized crime, migration, etc. are high in the EU agenda, as well as those of aspirants.

“In this context, we discussed European, as well as national and regional priorities – fight against organized crime and terrorism, as well as dealing with migration challenges. MoI Sekulović and I agreed that there’s need to intensify cooperation, noting the exact activities that have to be taken, starting from drafting action plans for implementation of Chapter 24, holding regular meetings at working group level, etc.,” North Macedonia’s Interior Minister said.

At the news briefing, Sekulović expressed the commitment of the Montenegrin government to support North Macedonia’s EU integration.

“We’re ready to put all resources regarding implementation of Chapters 23 and 24 at the disposal of our colleagues in North Macedonia. This type of cooperation will further promote exchange of information between law enforcement institutions,” Minister Sekulović told reporters.

He noted that the health crisis helped raise awareness regarding the importance of strong regional connectivity and the need to improve efforts between regional initiatives and the European Union.

“Our friendly countries share a history and we have the obligation to sustain and strengthen bilateral relations,” Sekulović said.

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