Thursday, 24 October 2019, Strasbourg
MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT XHAFERI AND DAVID SASSOLI, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The President of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia had a meeting in the European Parliament in Strasbourg with the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, and the Vice President, Klára Dobrev.
At the meeting, President Xhaferi expressed gratitude to the European Parliament for the continued strong support of the European Union enlargement process and the support of MEPs for North Macedonia to unconditionally start EU membership negotiations.
He further emphasized that our expectations, following the positive conclusions of the EU Council in 2018 and 2019, were that we would receive recognition for the reforms implemented and for the serious policy decisions taken to fulfill the EU recommendations. President Xhaferi stressed that the disappointment with the European Council's decision to postpone setting a date for the start of negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia was understandably high.
He noted that a revised methodology for accession negotiations was acceptable to us, but that any alternatives to the accession process, such as putting the country in the European Neighbourhood category, were not acceptable. Noting that the Berlin process, while aiding Western Balkan countries in achieving accelerated reform progress, was complementary to the European integration process, he reiterated the commitment to the process in the interest of a sooner integration into the European Union.
President Sassoli noted that a mistake had been made by not setting a date for the start of negotiations, but that the support coming from a vast majority of MEPs would continue in the future. In this regard, the announced visit of President Sassoli at the beginning of November was mentioned.
Vice President Dobrev noted that more intensive cooperation was planned in the future with the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia in order to restore citizens trust in the European future of the country, which due to the disappointment with the European Council’s decision, may now seem farther.