Monday, 20 August 2018 | News today: 22

PM Zaev: WB countries should take part in building a stronger EU

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Now’s the time to recognize the moment appropriate for the Western Balkan countries to play a role in building a stronger EU, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Wednesday in Sofia where he participated in an international conference “Democracy that Delivers: Ten Years Later – Unlocking the Potential of the Western Balkans.”

Zaev, attending the conference by an invitation of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of the think tanks Center for European Democracy Studies and the European Fund for the Balkans, mentioned that the citizens in Macedonia had toppled an authoritarian regime ‘by using a pen in elections’ and with a strong determination to restore democracy.

“We have succeeded in something that many countries around the world often strive to do but rarely succeed in it,” PM Zaev said adding that to overcome the crisis was ‘only half of the story.’

According to him, a good governance system has been established that is based on four pillars.

“We have introduced a new spirit in our relations with the neighbors. We have opened a dialogue to settle issues. We are building bridges of cooperation based on mutual trust and respect and we keep insisting on a win-win situation regarding all bilateral issues,” Zaev said referring to Macedonia’s relations with the countries in the region.

The name negotiations, he added, are taking place in the same spirit and they are in a very advanced stage.

PM Zaev reiterated that Macedonia had no alternative to full-fledged membership to the EU and NATO. The country strives to get a NATO membership invitation and the EU to open accession talks in 2018, he concluded.