Prime Minister Zaev on Press Conference with Euro-Commissioner Hahn: I am convinced that events are moving in positive direction and in October, EU will deliver the negotiation invitation

Today the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, had joint press-conference with the Euro-Commissioner on Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn who is on one-day visit to our country.

We present you the address of Prime Minister Zaev at the press-conference which took place immediately after the work meeting with Euro-Commissioner Hahn and his delegation:

This morning we had a work meeting with the Euro-Commissioner on European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Mr. Johannes Hahn for whom I can unreservedly say that has been our long-standing fellow-traveler and sincere supporter on our road for membership into the European Union.

I avail myself of this occasion to publicly express my congratulations for his nomination by the Government of the Austria, for the third time, for him to be proposed for another term on the position Commissioner within the European Union.

His nomination was approved with consensus from the Austrian Parliament because his work so far has provided results.

No matter which sector will Mr. Hahn lead now, he remains our strong link in the process and I am convinced that he will remain a strong proponent of the EU enlargement policies regarding the Western Balkan countries.

Of course, this advocacy on his behalf is not unjustified, because it has been supported by our own accomplishments in the past two years, as of the fulfillment of our obligations and the delivery on the reforms.

Commissioner Hahn is today with us to mark the start of the last phase before the start of negotiations. We are all focused on October.

During this morning talk with Mr. Hahn I said that we expect that EU will keep its promise and in October it will announce that the country can start the negotiations by opening chapters for EU membership.

This will not only confirm our wishes and expectations, but also it will confirm what was written in the EC Progress Report – that the Republic of North Macedonia is a shining example, as it was written in the conclusions of the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg that “in light of the limited time available and the importance of the matter, the Council will revert to the issue with a view to reaching a clear and substantial decision as soon as possible and no later than October 2019”.

These documents came as a result of the enhancement of good-neighborly relations, but also due to the fulfilled reforms, which last year were requested as a precondition for commencement of negotiations with EU.

Of course, we have until October, with sincere and honest commitment, to complete the reform priorities, especially in the finish line of the reforms in judiciary with the new Draft Law on Public Prosecution, so that in autumn we can present ourselves as a country that has closed all open issues for acquiring the promised date for start of negotiations.

We must be accountable and we must not provide any arguments for someone to question our strategic goal.

Furthermore, I told Euro-Commissioner Hahn that the Government, this coalition, will never close the doors for the opposition if they want to provide their contribution to this process. We have never done this so far, nor shall we ever do it when discussing topics that require parliamentary support. And that this is shared and national interest.

All in the interest of the country and its citizens.

The new draft Law that we have proposed is a result of compromise and we have taken into consideration the main notes of the opposition regard the Special Public Prosecution.

The Parliament is the place where now, all MPs, have a possibility to define the final version and contents of the law.

Regarding the current events in our country, we bear witness to resolute and uncompromising fight against organized crime and high corruption.

This fight is led independently by the public prosecution and other institutions in the system for investigation and support. This is a result of the liberation of all segments of judiciary from the embrace of the previous government.

No one is privileged, no one will be exempt. Everyone is equal before the justice and that is why we further encourage the Public Prosecution to continue the procedure in the case “Reket” no matter who will they reach in the process.

North Macedonia proves itself to be a legal state, a rule of law state.

This is what we owe the citizens and this is what we deliver; this is how things should be done while anticipating the events in October, for which I am convinced, will move in positive direction and finally, after 15 years, the Republic of North Macedonia will receive an invitation for commencement of negotiations. 

Thank you.