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Romania, North Macedonia ink Memorandum of Cooperation in European integration field

Macedonia

A Memorandum of Cooperation in the European integration field was inked on Wednesday by Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu and his counterpart of the Republic of North Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov.


"We have both decided to boost collaboration in both the political-diplomatic field and in new domains of sectorial cooperation capable to seriously substantiate our bilateral relations. As an expression of this commitment of ours we have signed today [Wednesday, ed. n.] a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two Foreign ministries in the field of European integration, that includes provisions relevant for the European path of the Republic of North Macedonia and the support we are ready to grant for the harmonization of the legislation with the acquis communautaire, the strengthening of the institutional capacity, the cooperation in the common foreign and security policy of the EU, the exchange of experts, including with the capitalisation on the opportunities offered by the Mobility Fund that is being implemented by the Agency for International Cooperation. We hailed the fact that the bilateral economic relations have attained at end-2018 over EUR 400 million, which is not that much, but the increase against the previous years was 18.25pct and I voiced confidence that we should organise as soon as possible a meeting of the Inter-governmental Committee between Romania and North Macedonia in the second half of 2019," Teodor Melescanu said after signing the Memorandum.

He added that he talked with his Macedonian counterpart about cooperation in Education, Culture and Sciences.

"We naturally have an interest to collaborate with North Macedonia in the field of Defence, as well, we are in the same area and certainly our security is indivisible. The NATO ally status which hopefully will be endorsed as soon as possible is a guarantee of the Macedonian stability and firm commitment towards the fundamental democratic values which I'm certain will offer new opportunities for the development of our relationship in this field, too. (...) I welcomed the furthering of the reform process and reconfirmed very seriously our commitment to backing the continuation of the EU enlargement policy. (...) I reconfirmed to my counterpart Romania's strong support for his country's European path and encouraged him to continue the reforms process so as to have the most solid arguments possible required for the adoption of a decision on opening the negotiations for accession to the EU in June 2019," Melescanu stressed.

North Macedonia's gov't Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said that his country has solved its issues in its relations with all of its neighbours.

We have no open discussion with any of our five neighbours. For the first time in our history, we are only surrounded by friends and partners. We operate domestically to strengthen our institutions and we want the rule of law to reign in our society. This year (...) we can assert that our society is more democratic, the justices are really independent, the media are truly free. (...) It is necessary that the EU does what it has to do, meaning to acknowledge and decide that we start the accession negotiations. This is our goal. We want to have a first inter-governmental conference by the end of this year. (...) They said last year that if we do what we are supposed to do, we shall start the accession negotiations in June and we'll have a first inter-governmental conference by end-year. I thank the Romanian Government, Parliament and the Romanian people for the ratification of the NATO accession protocol, Romania being one of the first countries that have done this. I am here today and I feel almost at home, Dimitrov stressed

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