EU does not have the luxury to choose between deepening and enlargement, between internal reforms and enlargement, and both processes must proceed in parallel, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Zernovski said in a speech at the Joint Parliamentary Committee EU-Macedonia meeting in Strasbourg, which began today.

As MIA reports, Zernovski stressed that the European Parliament resolution adopted on 24 October, after the October EU summit and the visit of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli to Macedonia gave strong encouragement to the country that EU’s doors not are closed and has sent a strong signal to the European Council to keep its promises and bring the issue of accession negotiations back on its agenda.

Zernovski assessed that the failure of the EU Council to adopt a decision on the start of negotiations in October was a clear disappointment and created an atmosphere of uncertainty and unpredictability from the EU perspective and prompted the search for alternatives to EU membership, which “sent a bad signal to the region and encouraged regressive and nationalist political forces”.

Најважно, според него, е што за во моментот сите земји членки заедно со Франција потврдија дека крајната цел е целосно членство на сите земји од нашиот регион во ЕУ, но процесот на проширување треба да обезбеди еднакво ниво на игра за сите земји кандидати со примена на исти принципи, со што ќе се овозможи продуктивна конкурентска реформа.

Most important, in his opinion, is that at the moment all member states together with France have confirmed that the ultimate goal is full membership of all countries in our region in the EU, but the enlargement process should ensure an equal level for all candidate countries by applying the same principles, enabling productive competitive reform.

The Deputy Foreign Minister expressed hope that the European Commission in January would come up with a proposal on how to maintain and speed up the accession process and could prepare a brief overview of the reform situation, believing that these two processes could go hand in hand and “ culminate at the European Council meeting in March.”

It is not easy to continue, but there is no alternative. We are convinced that our achievements and focus on future deliveries show maturity, he said.