Prime Minister Zaev in Ohrid: We agreed on initiatives and measures to improve the region and to do more through the Berlin Process in order to accelerate our EU accession

The President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, and other WB leaders who were present on the regional meeting in Ohrid, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, President of the Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic and the Minister of Economy of Montenegro, Dragica Sekulic, had a joint press-conference and had informed of the results from the meeting. The main emphasis on the meeting was placed on enhancing good-neighbourly relations and regional cooperation by removing barriers for free movement of people, goods, services and capital.

Prime Minister Zaev in his speech underlined that this meeting, as well as the initiatives in the plan of priority measures, are not an alternative to the aspirations of the WB countries for EU membership and that this remains the main objective for the countries in the region.

“We spoke of accelerating the accomplishment of our citizens’ dream for creating a Western Balkan of the 21st century. A region in which the citizens, especially the young people, will recognize the potentials for their future in the region. The Action Plan, with priorities to which we will commit in the forthcoming period, is in fact securing conditions for free movement of the citizens only with ID cards. Additionally, this will create preconditions for 24 hours work of the borders with customs controls on one point and for mutual recognition of the phyto-sanitary controls of the products that are moving throughout the region, in order to secure safe transport, to reach the markets in optimal time, and this will be aided by the fast lanes for trucks”, underlined Prime Minister Zaev.

The President of the Government of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, emphasized that the regional cooperation, including the reinforced economic cooperation, is integral part of the efforts for securing progress, economic prosperity and facilitating the communication between the people.

“We have a document that guarantees a wide spectrum for the citizens from the whole region, for example, recognition of the professional competences of the citizens in the whole region in order to secure them with equal access to the labour market in all countries of the region. These initiatives are in compliance with the multi-annual Action Plan for the Regional Economic Zone, as well as with the activities in the remaining regional initiatives and hereby accept the role of the Berlin Process, as an important propellant of the regional cooperation” – stated Prime Minister Zaev.

“I am convinced that these efforts are supporting our ambitions for EU membership. Furthermore, I am strongly convinced that this initiative and concrete measures and results, will result in positive attention from the European Union and all EU member-states. This initiative will make this region a factor; it will make every country in the Western Balkan a factor in the EU membership process”, underlined Prime Minister Zaev while adding that this impression has already been confirmed in Ohrid following the understanding and the support for the initiative that has been recognized by the EU representatives, the RCC, as well as the representatives of the financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the World Bank.

At the press-conference all other leaders agreed that this initiative and the agreed measures are of essential importance for further development of the regional cooperation in the areas of mutual interest and have expressed optimistic expectations for reinforced participation of all WB countries on the following regional meeting that will take place in Durres next month.