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Brussels, 6 March 2012

Statement of Commissioner Š.Füle after the meeting with Ms Teuta Arifi, Deputy Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

"I met with Deputy Prime Minister Teuta Arifi today and we had very constructive discussions. We talked about the measures the government in Skopje plans to take in order to bring forward the key reforms in the near future. I repeated the commitment of the European Commission to continue supporting Skopje in its efforts.

We will be launching the High-Level Accession Dialogue in Skopje on 15 March. It will give a new boost to our relations, and enhance our co-operation on the reform agenda, in particular in the five priority policy areas of freedom of expression, rule of law, public administration reform, electoral reform, and the economic criteria.

I reiterated our expectations regarding further efforts in these five areas to move forward with democratic reforms and transformation. Progress in these areas will boost the European perspective of the country.

I believe the way forward is clear. The new High Level Accession Dialogue and other tools in place will boost the reform momentum. This is important not only for the sake of the country but is also in the interest of the wider region, as well as the European Union. We will continue to work together to achieve the goal of European integration."

Before meeting Ms Arifi Commissioner Füle spoke about the European path of Skopje at the hearing in the European Parliament. See the speech here:

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