Foreign Minister Gabriel issued the following statement today (6 September) on his meeting with Nikola Dimitrov, Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
I congratulate my counterpart Nikola Dimitrov, the new Government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Prime Minister Zaev on their first hundred days. The Government has gotten off to an impressive start and is taking visible action. It is tackling ambitious reforms and taking positive steps toward its neighbours.
It is now vital for the announced reforms to actually be implemented and for the reform process in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to get moving again. This is the only way for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to draw closer to the EU and to NATO. I also want to specifically call on the current opposition to not block the new Government’s positive momentum and to remain open to constructive cooperation with the Government. Failing to do so would be detrimental not only to the country’s prospects of EU membership, but also to those people in the country who are hoping for real progress and improvements in their situation.
Germany supports the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s ambitions to draw closer to the EU and to NATO – as it does similar ambitions of the other countries in the Western Balkans. We provide both political and practical support, by offering advice and tangible assistance. Early this year, I launched an initiative to reinvigorate the Berlin Process that was established in 2014. I am pleased that initial proposals were endorsed at the Western Balkans Summit in Trieste in July. Together with our partners in the EU, we are working to further increase our support. Nevertheless, it is also true that no rebates will be given during the accession process. The reforms must be implemented.