Zaev at the CEI Summit in Rome: CEI’s efforts to keep the enlargement high on EU’s agenda is encouraging our country and the region

“In the spirit of solidarity and regional cooperation, the members of the Central European Initiative, many of them EU member-states, are propelling the process of full integration of the Western Balkans within the European Union. The visibility of these efforts after the October European Council is a great encouragement and we hope that these efforts will deliver” – underlined the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev in his address on CEI Summit that took place today in Rome. 

“There is an enormous majority of those who believe that our country should have started negotiations with EU as recognition of the efforts and results in reforms, as well as affirmation of the right choice made with the Prespa Agreement. The idea for new methodology for EU enlargement is justified only if the process becomes more effective, more credible and if it produces material benefits for the candidate countries. That is why we appeal for fast consensus between the EU member-states for the principles and elements of the new methodology, thus opening a way for adoption of a decision for commencement of accession negotiations for North Macedonia. Our priority remains to start negotiations as soon as possible. The possible decision in March will create a positive dynamics in our country” – underlined Prime Minister Zaev in his address on the CEI Summit. 

The President of the Government of North Macedonia, Zaev, said that the Western Balkans need clear and visible perspective for EU accession in order to consolidate the progress, to secure the safety and to achieve further development. 

CEI this year marks the 30th anniversary as of its establishment and confirms the need for increased regional cooperation enriched with numerous formats and initiatives such as the process for cooperation of SEE countries through the Regional Cooperation Council, the Berlin Process, the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative, etc. 

“This year, when CEI celebrates its 30th anniversary, North Macedonia became the 30th NATO member state – an achievement that is enabled due to the realistic commitment for improvement of good-neighborly relations, investments in building strong partnerships and trust. We hope that in near future EU will decide to start accession negotiations based on the results delivered by our country”, said Prime Minister Zaev in his address on the CEI Summit in Rome while adding that he is convinced that in the forthcoming period CEI will continue to upgrade itself with new and expanded forms of cooperation between the member-states in various areas.