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Jun 25, 2019

FM: Europe has interest in North Macedonia joining EU

The Foreign Minister has said that Europe as a whole has a vested interest in North Macedonia and other Western Balkans countries joining the European Union as soon as possible.

The Foreign Minister has said that Europe as a whole has a vested interest in North Macedonia and other Western Balkans countries joining the European Union as soon as possible.

During an official visit to Skopje on Monday, Péter Szijjártó said Hungary has taken a firm stand for immediate negotiations to start on North Macedonia’s EU accession.

Minister Szijjártó said the EU General Affairs Council’s (GAC) recent decision to postpone accession talks with North Macedonia runs against Hungary’s interests. Enlarging the European Union is a precondition for the community to regain its competitiveness, he said.

The GAC decision, however, puts doubts on the credibility of the EU’s enlargement policy, the Minister said. Further, it poses a challenge to the credibility of Western Balkans governments that are committed to European integration, he said.

“Living in the neighborhood, we are well aware of the difference between stability and instability in the region,” he said, adding that Hungary’s government considers European integration the best way to maintain stability. It is unacceptable that the next round of enlargement is scheduled for 2025, he said.

The Minister added that Hungary promotes the efforts of the North Macedonian government to pave the way for European integration. He said that Hungary’s parliament would ratify North Macedonia’s accession to NATO on Tuesday.

Phot credit: MIA