Sun, 26 Mar 2023

SKOPJE, March 17 (Xinhua) -- North Macedonia is on course to join the European Union (EU) by 2030, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said on Friday.

Varhelyi was speaking at a joint press conference with North Macedonia's Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

The two EU senior officials attended the 16th meeting of the Stabilization and Association Council to review North Macedonia's accession to the EU. The Council is being held for the first time in Skopje.

"What this meeting symbolizes is that North Macedonia will become an EU member state," said Varhelyi.

During Friday's meeting, the Council praised the country's focus on reforms, the harmonization of laws and practices with European standards, and policies of "good neighborliness."

"North Macedonia practices European values, and we have no doubt we are on the right European path," said Kovachevski.

Borrell, who is also Vice President of the European Commission, said that the future of North Macedonia and its citizens lies within the EU. However, he urged North Macedonia to "continue adopting and implementing reforms that introduce European standards."

Borrell also emphasized the importance of its relations with neighboring countries, and the need to create the conditions to adopt constitutional amendments.

All political parties in the country must work in earnest towards the path of EU integration, he added.

North Macedonia and its neighbor Albania began accession negotiations with the EU in July 2022. The country was granted candidate status for EU membership in 2005.

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