S&Ds: An historic moment for FYR Macedonia and for the Balkans

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Press release

Following a visit of S&D Group to FYR Macedonia, MEPs were encouraged by the situation in the country and call on all political forces to work together and seize this historic moment. 2018 is an important year for the Western Balkans, with the Commission presenting its Strategy Paper for the region next week in Strasbourg and the annual enlargement package in April, alongside this a high level EU-Western Balkans summit will be held in Sofia in May, and consecutive EU Council presidencies are prioritising the region.  
 
S&D Group Vice President Victor Boştinaru said: 
 
“It is a key period for the European integration of the Western Balkans and I trust that FYR Macedonia can deliver. For that the country needs constructive cooperation between the government and the opposition. This is the only way to speed up the necessary reforms. The S&D strongly supports the efforts of the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to break the old political pattern and work towards reconciliation and inclusiveness in the country as well as to finalise the ongoing negotiations with Greece.”
 
S&D Group Vice President Tanja Fajon added:  
 
“We welcome the constructive approach of the government to the issue of the country’s name and in general towards reforms, good neighbourly relations, and EU accession. We also invite the opposition to be fully engaged in the process of solving the ‘name issue’ and work with the government to reach an agreement with Greece. I encourage the Macedonian government to seize this window of opportunity for enlargement and to continue its direction as being one of the biggest success stories in the region.”
 
Tonino Picula, S&D spokesperson for FYR Macedonia said: 
 
“The government and opposition need to work together to step up the delivery of the reform priorities and continue to fulfil the Przino agreement to achieve a positive recommendation from the Commission and political support of the Council on beginning accession talks in this year’s country report.”