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Brussels, 9 April 2013
Š. Füle in Skopje for the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD)
On 9 April, Commissioner Stefan Fule visited Skopje for a meeting of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD), established in March 2012 between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the European Commission, which continues to provide valuable support for key reforms.
He also met with Prime Minister Gruevski, Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi who is responsible for European integration, Commissioner also spoke to the National Council for European Integration and held a meeting with the leader of the SDSM opposition party Branko Crvenkovski.
The visit comes a week before the adoption of the Commission Report, requested by the Council in December 2012, which will review overall progress made in the context of the HLAD reforms, good neighbourly relations and steps taken to resolve the name issue.
The fourth meeting of the High Level Accession Dialogue reviewed progress to date as regards the implementation of reforms in the five priority areas set out in the government's roadmap. These areas include freedom of expression and the media, rule of law and fundamental rights, public administration reform, electoral reform and strengthening the market economy. These issues will be covered in detail in the Commission Report next week, as well as in the October Progress Report.
The Commissioner reiterated the need for an inclusive and transparent approach in taking forward these reforms, including the systematic consultation and involvement of the National Council of European Integration, as well as other stakeholders.
He underlined the need to implement the 1st of March agreement as soon as possible.
He also stressed the importance of maintaining good neighbourly relations, including a negotiated and mutually accepted solution to the name issue, under the auspices of the UN.