“The accession to the EU is a political matter that requires political will – both on the part of the Member States and of the candidate countries, who need to find the strength to reach consensus and unity in the name of a national cause – EU membership”. This was stated by MRF/Renew Europe MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk at the regional conference “One Balkans towards EU”, held in Skopje today.
“The new methodology presented by the European Commission last week aims precisely at this – to give a new impetus to the process by making it more political rather than administratively-bureaucratic. The new methodology envisages rewarding concrete results achieved, predictability and dynamism, but also – enhanced bilateral relations with increased presence – both of the EU in the region – and of the Western Balkans on the EU agenda, so that we could reach a mutual understanding – where we want to get and what is the way to do it”, said further Ilhan Kyuchyuk.
The event brought together former Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, political leaders and MEPs from the Liberal and Socialist parties to discuss the experiences and challenges of the candidate countries, the benefits of European integration of the Western Balkans and a vision for a way forward in the renewed process of enlargement.
“If the European Union wants to play a global role and the European Commission – to be a ‘geopolitical Commission’, as Mrs von der Leyen stated, it must show that it is a trustworthy partner. The EU needs as well to involve the countries applying for membership in its major forthcoming policies and debates – on the European Green deal, the digital and transport connectivity, the Conference on the Future of Europe, and the Western Balkans countries need to be institutionally prepared for that. At the same time, the unresolved EU issues cannot be transferred to the Western Balkan countries. The European Union must be reformed not because of the prospect of enlargement, because of the Western Balkans or Brexit, but for its own sake”, the Bulgarian MEP added. The event was also attended by Goran Milevski, Minister of Local Self-government of North Macedonia, Tanja Fajon, Slovenian MEP and former EP Rapporteur for Serbia, Tonino Picula, MEP and former Croatian Foreign Minister and Gent Cakaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania.