“We look forward to EU Western Balkans Summit next week in Slovenia. Western Balkans is a key priority for the European Commission, the region’s future is in the EU. We discussed how to advance EU enlargement by opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania”, is the message of EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varhelji on Twitter, who today is paying a visit to Skopje, following the meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
“Happy to be back to Skopje for a comprehensive discussion with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. We agreed to quickly start implementing the first flagship projects from Economic and Investment Plan for Western Balkans to boost economic development and convergence of North Macedonia and the region with EU”, wrote Varhelji on Twitter.
At the same time Prime Minister Zaev also posted on Twitter that he had met with Varhelji, with whom, as he wrote, they had discussed openly about several topics such as the economic investment plan, which is really a strong positive impulse for us, up to specific projects that will be announced by the end of the year.
“One of the topics of our discussion was also the preparations ahead of us for the upcoming Western Balkans summit in Slovenia next week, where we will have excellent space for mutual discussion. The European path is important for both sides, for North Macedonia and for the EU and we are committed to that process”, wrote Prime Minister Zaev on Twitter.
The European Commission, before Varhelji’s visit to Skopje, pointed out that the EU Commissioner is in communication with all relevant parties in relation to the discussions for starting negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible.
Varhelji last week was in Bulgaria, where with President Rumen Radev and Technical Minister of Foreign Affairs Svetlan Stoev they discussed the lifting of the Bulgarian blockade for the start of the negotiations of North Macedonia with the EU.
Varhelji’s visit to Skopje follows one day after the visit of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who during discussions with the authorities in the country also spoke about the issue with Bulgaria and its overcoming. She expressed assurance that overcoming the blockade from Sofia is possible and holding the first intergovernmental conferences with North Macedonia and Albania by the end of the year.
Translation: N. Cvetkovska