Zaev and Borrell in Brussels: There is a great support for the first IGC and there is no support for decoupling of North Macedonia and Albania

Today Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by the Deputy President of the Government in charge of European Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov and the Foreign Minister, Bujar Osmani, met the Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell. 
After the meeting both interlocutors issued media statements. 

“Allow me to clearly underline that there is no support for decoupling, neither in the EU’s institutions, nor among the member-states. North Macedonia has met the necessary conditions for commencement of accession negotiations, and similarly to Albania, deserves to step into the next phase of the processes without any further delay”, said Borrell while underlining the commitment of Republic of North Macedonia to the European path. 

The President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, in his statement after the meeting with EU’s High Commissioner on Foreign and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, expressed his satisfaction with the working visit to Brussels and underlined that he and the delegation were on a clear mission in the past few days in Brussels – to convey the message from the Macedonian citizens to the official representatives of EU – that we have worked hard, we have delivered and we want to provide our fair share in Europe’s future. 

“We breathе, we live and we grow with the European ideas and values! And we know there is no other way but the European way. We are committed on our common values and on implementation of EU standards and criteria. And we don`t want to stand and wait any more. We want to move because moving forward is the European way. We are for mobility, not for walls”, said PM Zaev after meeting the EU’s high representative, Borrell. 

Moreover, Prime Minister Zaev said that: “We are not asking more than what we deserve, and that is to hold the first IGC as soon as possible.”  Zaev further said that this was acknowledged and confirmed since March 2020 - North Macedonia has fulfilled its obligations - and now it is time for EU to deliver.

“Can we talk about Western Balkans without North Macedonia? Can we talk about Europe without Western Balkans? No! We struggled a lot in the last decades and in the last century in order to find the way to peace and tolerance. And now we are all set to integrate, to dream together and to achieve together”, said PM Zaev in his statement. 
PM Zaev underlined that a positive step ahead for North Macedonia will be a message of encouragement for the entire region. A set-back for North Macedonia it will be a message of discouragement, for the entire Western Balkans. 

I know this, and European leaders know this.  Let`s do the European way together”, added the President of the Government during the joint statement with Borrell, after their meeting. 

The High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrel, after welcoming Prime Minister Zaev, said that the yesterday’s meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the member states stressed the importance of the Western Balkans, as well as the continuous and even, reinforced commitment to this region while reaffirming the European perspective for the whole region. 

Furthermore, he added that there is a great support for scheduling the first Inter-Governmental Conference for North Macedonia as soon as possible. 

Moreover, Borrell stated that our country, on its path, can count on the support from the European institutions, as well as the support for securing vaccines for the citizens of North Macedonia. Borrell also underlined that the first batch of the planned 120,000 vaccines financed by the EU have already arrived in our country.