Visit of José Manuel Barroso to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: extracts from the joint press briefing with Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
On 09/04/2011, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Štefan Füle, Member of the EC in charge of Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, went to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia where they met Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. José Manuel Barroso gave a press briefing after the visit where he said that it was important that the country maintained its reform agenda because otherwise there was a growing risk that the country could fall behind in the accession process. He added that it was also necessary to solve name issue and to ensure that the forthcoming elections were conducted in full transparency and in line with international standards. He stressed that freedom of expression was key and that journalists should be able to express their views freely.
The visit took place in the context of President Barroso's tour of several Southeast European countries (SEE). During which he met top officials as well as civil society representatives from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.