Prime Minister Zaev on trilateral meeting with Serbian President Vuchikj and Albanian Prime Minister Rama: Let us introduce European principles of cooperation and functioning of EU’s four freedoms: free movement of goods, capital, services and labour

We are open for this and for other initiatives that are in line of reinforcing the existing forms that promote regional cooperation and that accelerate the EU integration process for all Western Balkan countries, underlined the Prime Minister of Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, on the joint press conference held after the trilateral meeting with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vuchikj and the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, that took place today in Novi Sad in the Republic of Serbia. 

“Ahead of us there are possibilities to use our shared potentials to increase trade, flow of goods, and mobility of people, services and capital. These are EU’s four freedoms. We must introduce the European principles of cooperation and functioning in our region. This is part of our homework for EU integration. We must reinforce the processes for realization of the Regional Economic Area and to fulfill the tasks that we had set for mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates, decreasing of trade barriers, improvement of infrastructure, introducing better and more efficient customs procedures”, said the President of the Government of North Macedonia, Zaev. 



Furthermore, Prime Minister Zaev in his media statement emphasized that all citizens of the region look at the Balkan of the 21st century as a region of peace, stability and economic development, completely oriented and committed to speeding the EU integration process. 

“The initiative for reinforcement of the regional cooperation initiated by President Vuchikj is seen in the context of other regional initiatives under the auspices of the Regional Cooperation Council between the WB countries within the Berlin Process. Strong and essential cooperation is an important step for our EU integration. It is always good to show that together we can and we want more. There is a lot of unused potential in the increase of regional cooperation. We will gain more respect and support from the EU, if we individually show political leadership and care for the improvement of cooperation”, underlined Prime Minister Zaev. 

Moreover, he reiterated that North Macedonia and Serbia have introduced integrated border management and that soon enough it will be implemented on the most frequent border crossing with Albania. 

“This initiative is open for other WB countries to join, as well as for all other stakeholders who help the regional cooperation. Now we are giving strong political support and in future, we will have other work meetings and meetings for realization of our efforts”, said Prime Minister Zaev. 

In 2020 Republic of North Macedonia for the first time as EU candidate country, together with Bulgaria, will co-preside over the Berlin Process, said Prime Minister Zaev while adding that this is a good occasion to give a new, strong impetus to the enhancement of the regional cooperation. 

“At the same time, this is a good chance to provide complementary initiatives, including this one, because all of them trace the path to Brussels”, underlined Zaev in his speech on the joint press conference after the trilateral meeting with Serbian President, Aleksandar Vuchikj, and Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, which took place today in Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia.  

The Serbian President, Aleksandar Vuchikj and the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, in their statements on the press conferences emphasized the points stipulated in the Declaration that was published today by the three leaders in Novi Sad, that underlines the effort for realization of EU’s four freedoms – free movement of goods, services, capital and labour in Western Balkan.  

A first step that will be undertaken in the forthcoming period will be removing all barriers for free movement as soon as possible, and a task force will be established to start working immediately. 

The Declaration invites other leaders from Western Balkan to join them at the next meeting on November 10th in Ohrid.