PES President welcomes Prime Minister of North Macedonia in Brussels

PES President welcomes Prime Minister of North Macedonia in Brussels

This afternoon, PES President Sergei Stanishev welcomed the Prime Minister of North Macedonia and SDSM leader, Dimitar Kovachevski, and Deputy Prime Minister Bojan Maricik to the PES headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

PES President Stanishev and Prime Minister Kovachevski discussed the common social democratic agenda, SDSM’s priorities for North Macedonia, and the wider European perspective on the Western Balkans.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

"The PES is the political family in which SDSM is a respected associated member party, and which for years has consistently defended the option of EU membership for the Western Balkan countries. We appreciate the contribution of SDSM governments to the signing of the Prespa Agreement with Greece as well as the Treaty of friendship, good-neighbourliness and cooperation with the Republic of Bulgaria. These steps have changed the whole climate of North Macedonia's EU accession process. Now it is important to find similar solutions to the current pressing issues for of the EU accession process of North Macedonia.”

On the topic of the current situation with the negotiations between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, Sergei Stanishev said:

"The new leadership in North Macedonia and Bulgaria is a chance for a new perspective. This was demonstrated by the two prime ministerial visits just days after the cabinets took office. Their goodwill and efforts to find a solution should be supported. The focus on common interests – for peace and security in the region, for infrastructure connectivity and investment – allows us to look not only at historical issues, but also to the future. This approach will have the support of the PES because EU enlargement will not be complete until the Western Balkans are part of the European Union", Stanishev said.

The Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, said:

"I believe that the necessary steps will be taken to speed up the EU accession process and to compensate the delay from the past. North Macedonia is currently working hard on legislations initiatives and on the necessary reforms in the country and now we are committed to the effective implementation of those reforms.  We are especially focused on the rule of law end ensuring equality before the law for all."

The PES President encouraged the new Prime Minister of North Macedonia to continue the progressive path in reforming the country for the greater good of its citizens.

The PES thanks former prime minister Zoran Zaev – who left office in December – and his team for their leadership. Under his premiership, historic progress was secured for North Macedonia and for the European perspective on the Western Balkans.

The meeting was attended by PES President Sergei Stanishev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia and SDSM leader, Dimitar Kovačevski, Deputy Prime Minister of North Macedonia Bojan Maricik and PES Deputy Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck.