The 14th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the European Union (SA Committee) took place on 29 June 2017 in Brussels. The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans in the Directorate General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations at the European Commission and Bujar Osmani, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Minister of Justice Bilen Saliji and the Minister of Information Society and Administration Damjan Manchevski also participated.
The SA Committee took stock of the state of play in relation to the political and economic criteria, alignment with the EU legislation (acquis), as well as implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
The European Commission welcomed the intention of the Government to advance the EU reform agenda and to ensure proper consultation of civil society and other stakeholders. The European Commission called for implementation of commitments under the Pržino Agreement and the Urgent Reform Priorities and expressed its readiness to help the efforts of all parties in this regard.
The Government expressed its satisfaction with the support of the European Commission for the most important short term reform priorities which need to be implemented, and furthermore, expressed readiness and its full commitment to embark on the reforms in transparent, inclusive and coherent way, as well as further strengthening of the interethnic relations, inter alia, through full implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.
The Government expressed its expectations, as soon as the conditions are fulfilled, for concrete steps forward from the European Commission as well as the Member States, which would present a positive signal and strong incentive for the European integration processes in the country.
Both sides agreed that tangible progress should be made in important areas such as judicial independence, establishing accountability for the wiretaps, respect for fundamental rights, freedom of media and public administration reform. On systemic rule of law issues, the European Commission recalled the recommendations of the senior rule of law experts, who will visit the country again in July 2017.
The European Commission outlined the importance of making progress in the alignment with the EU acquis, especially in relation to the internal market, and the need to meet other international commitments, for instance on energy and transport connectivity. The Government highlighted the importance of the upcoming Trieste Summit, including the signature of the Transport Community Treaty and support for the Regional Economic Area and for infrastructure projects.
The parties look forward to further discussing the progress made in these key areas during the Stabilisation and Association Council on 18 July 2017.
- Publication date
- 29 June 2017
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations