Shekerinska at the Bled Strategic Forum: We have achieved speedy progress, now it is time for the EU to show a speedy reaction, October is an opportunity for us and the Union

- Just two years ago, my country was a source of worry and concern among the most NATO and EU allies. We have been struggling with a difficult political crisis, with the decline of democracy, a significant decline in media and an even aggressive political confrontation. Nevertheless, it took a new government, of course, so a lot of political determination, courage and decision making to actually spin these things around and to actually expect good news at the London summit – said Shekerinska at the Panel “What’s Next? – Views on Euro-Atlantic Security 70 Years after the Washington Treaty“, at the Bled Strategic Forum.

- By solving the dispute with Greece, create good neighbourly relations with Bulgaria, a breakthrough in strengthening democracy and media freedom, today we have managed to quadruple the FDYs and 50 000 new jobs, making us a success story – said Minister Shekerinska adding:

- NATO verified our progress and sent the message, that it supports good neighbourly relations, solving regional issues, and promoting stability by improving the political ties between the countries. So, I think it was a win-win situation, both for North Macedonia, but also for NATO. And I do not think that it is a coincidence that so many countries have quickly ratified the agreement. The good news is that it looks as if member states of the EU are prepared to take forwards the same agenda and to reward the signals of progress in the Balkans.

She said that it was especially important to have speedy reactions in times when there are results and progress.

- I really think that the time has come for us to say we have shown very speedy recovery, very speedy process, but the time has also come for the EU to show that speedy recovery and speedy progress results in speedy decision making. October could be an opportunity also for us and for the Union

The panel in which the keynote speaker was the Slovenian Minister of Defence, Karl Erjavec, was also addressed by the Deputy Secretary General for CSDP and Crisis Response, European External Action Service, Mr Pedro Serrano, who said that the EU’s position is to commit itself to a future where the Balkans would be a part of the EU.

- Your country is committed. From our viewpoint, there will not be a secure and safe Europe, until this process has been fully finalized. This process of integration of the Western Balkans is underway – said Serrano.

The bled Strategic Forum is the place where influential world and European politicians meet each year. This forum is one of the leading international conferences in Central and Southeast Europe.