The political goal of the Western Balkans is full-fledged EU membership, because the place of all Western Balkan countries is within the European Union, while the regional initiatives are one of the ways for better cooperation on the path to full-fledged membership, said Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski on Friday at the session “Genuine Regional Cooperation Keeps the Boat Steady” at the Prespa Forum Dialogue in Struga.

The PM noted that all Western Balkan countries are moving in that direction and on that path, because, he said, the region now has the necessary leadership potential to make such decisions. He said he believes that the Western Balkan countries should double their efforts to receive the support of the European partners in order to accelerate the integration process.

“I am saying this because the messages have never been clearer from our strategic EU partners that enlargement with the Western Balkans is possible by 2030 and it is practically up to us to do the work now, and move the processes in the region forward,” said Kovachevski.

Kovachevski said the war in Ukraine reminded Europe that there are geostrategic gaps on the European continent, and he said, we should not forget that the war in Ukraine is being waged only 700 kilometers away from our country.

In his address, the Prime Minister said the commitments of the Western Balkan countries to EU accession are indisputable, but each of the countries has a different capacity to resist the non-democratic tendencies coming from abroad, and this is mainly due to the different pace of democratization in the countries.

“This geostrategic gap is an open door for winds which are already shaking the fragile stability of the Western Balkans, and with it the EU, whose strength isn’t only in the unity of economically powerful countries, but, above all, in the unity of all countries, big and small,” said Kovachevski.

The PM said the Western Balkan countries must do everything to remove their borders with the EU by 2030.

“War on the European continent has sounded the alarm that only a united Europe together with the Western Balkans is a stable and a secure Europe, everything else is only a part of the solution, and not the solution itself,” said Kovachevski.

Kovachevski highlighted that in the past year Macedonia has recorded the largest number of foreign and domestic investments, and the highest level of support of domestic companies for a new cycle of investments, “this,” said Kovachevski, “is a result of the achieved stability in the country.”

The Prime Minister touched upon the cooperation with the countries of the Open Balkan, highlighting the increase of exported goods from the country to Albania and Serbia, as well as the cooperation in the field of tourism. In the coming period, according to Kovachevski, their shared goal will be the establishment of a common regional market, in order to attract foreign investments and ensure greater competitiveness of the countries of the region.

Prime Minister Kovachevski said that Macedonia is being developed with the construction of new highways, corridors and railway tracks to the neighboring countries.