Brussels, 20 March 2014
EU-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: work programme for 2014
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Poposki, of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in Brussels today.
The main topic of the meeting were EU-related reforms, including the role of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD). It was agreed to prepare another round of this Dialogue, following the formation of the new government, specifically focused on addressing the issues of rule of law and fundamental rights and good neighbourly relations. The agenda will contain fewer issues than during the previous rounds of HLAD. Particular attention will be paid to the concrete challenges on the ground so that the results achieved can contribute to further advancing the accession process. In this context Commissioner Füle stressed the importance of inclusiveness and underlined that the National Council on European Integration should play a role in further EU-related reforms and in the context of the HLAD.
In the meeting Commissioner Füle also discussed the implementation of last year's 1 March political agreement and key reform priorities including in the fields of freedom of media, judicial independence and electoral legislation, as well as good neighbourly relations.
He expressed his expectation that the conduct of the upcoming elections, under a newly revised and implemented election framework, will be free and fair, and that all parties and citizens will engage in mature political discourse.