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Brussels, 25 October 2011
Statement by Commissioner Füle following the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Nikola Poposki
I had a productive meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mr Nikola Poposki, in which we discussed our future cooperation following the publication of the Progress Report.
The renewed Commission Recommendation to start accession negotiations recognises the work of the government. However further efforts are needed to address core challenges. We now look forward to working with the new government, which can bring new momentum. The core challenges concern freedom of expression in the media, reform of the judiciary, public administration reform and the fight against corruption. Dialogue between the political forces needs to be strengthened. As regards the economy, structural reforms need to continue to address high unemployment whilst maintaining macro-economic stability. Regarding the acquis, the country needs to address shortcomings in effectively implementing legislation.
I look forward to the government responding concretely to the findings of the Progress Report by adopting an Action Plan and revising the National Plan for the Adoption of the Acquis.
The Commission aims to deepen the cooperation on the above issues this autumn, notably through a High Level Accession Dialogue and an Economic Policy Conference.
Maintaining good neighbourly relations, including a negotiated and mutually acceptable solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN, remains essential. The Commission underlines the need for redoubling efforts to find a solution without further delay.