The stalled integration processes for Macedonia are a source of systemic vulnerability, the effects of which are negatively spilled over the entire region. We sincerely believe that these are historical times that require firm and timely decisions. It is imperative to start the long-delayed accession process of Macedonia and Albania now in June, during the French EU presidency. When, if not now, said today the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani.

Addressing the opening of the panel discussion “Road to Brussels”, which was introduced at this year’s Prespa Forum Dialogue, which will be held in Ohrid from June 16 to 18, Osmani stressed that the spread of the transatlantic and western order based on values and principles is in the interest of both the aspirant countries and the member states, but also in the interest of global peace and cooperation.

I believe that now is the ideal time to recognize the consistent efforts of Macedonia and Albania and to meet with acceptance by the EU as a joint commitment to a more secure and stronger Europe resistant to any third influence, Osmani said.

The Foreign Minister stressed that even if nothing happens now, the country will remain committed to European reforms, but the political momentum itself will suffer, and hesitation and the search for new innovative ways to maintain the “status quo” will not dissuade malignant influences, on the contrary, it will send the wrong message to other countries and citizens of the Western Balkans.

This does not mean that we plan to leave the European path. We are confident Europeans, with great conviction, with almost 20 years since reaching the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU, excellent in implementing and harmonizing with European legislation and we will continue on that path, Osmani said.

Integration, Osmani said, in Euro-Atlantic structures is much more than the guarantees of Article 5 of the NATO Charter and access to European funds, because membership in the Alliance and the EU is a confirmation of the values that countries respect and strive for.

The Prespa Forum Dialogue, Osmani said, was created as a platform for dialogue, diplomacy, compromise and peaceful resolution of misunderstandings.