HLAD: Brussels and Skopje enter more demanding round of Dialogue
The European Commission and the Government of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia held the second round of the High Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) in Skopje on Monday. "Together with Prime Minister Nicola Gruevski we looked at what concrete measures have been taken since our first session on 15th March and discussed the next set of issues for the coming period," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said after the meeting. "Focus should now be on implementation of the key reforms measures by the time of the next HLAD in September," he added noting that the progress in implementation would be reviewed still before summer. Click on the webnews title for the conclusions and the press points...
Today´s session in Skopje produced joint conclusions, which are a reflexion of government´s ambitions and the main priorities in the reform process on which it needs to focus over the coming months. "We are now in a second, more challenging phase where we need to focus on concrete measures and indicators of progress. Much work will need to be done between now and our next meeting," Commissioner Füle stressed. At the same time he appreciated the recent adoption of the Roadmap by the Government, which addresses reform targets by defining the specific measures and time frame for their delivery. The key issues include freedom of expression, challenges for electoral reform and the strengthening of the market economy.
Before the main session of the HLAD, Commissioner Füle met with the Speaker of the Parliament Trajko Veljanoski and spoke to the members of the National Council for European Integration (NCEI). "We are keen to strenghten the inclusivness of this process where the Parliament and National Council for European Integration play an important role." The NCEI is a forum to discuss EU affairs with the participation of the representatives of the political parties and the civil society. "HLAD is not an agenda for the European Commission and the Government but for the Commission and the whole country. This is an opportunity for everyone here and the participation of all the stakeholders is critical for the success of the Dialogue," Commissioner Füle said in the Parliament.
The High Level Accession Dialogue was launched by Commissioner Füle on 15th March in Skopje. The aim of HLAD is to put the EU integration to the forefront of the domestic agenda and give it a new boost. The Dialogue aims to enhance the support of the European Commission for the accession process of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia by ensuring a structured, high level discussion on the main reform challenges and opportunities. The Dialogue provides support to the accession process of the country by focusing on key reform priorities. "It does not replace accession negotiations but it forms a bridge to them," Commissioner Füle said when launching it with Prime Minister Gurevski last March. Sincethe start of the Dialogue in March it become one of the main topics in the political and public discussion in the country and it is followed with interest also by the EU Member States and the European Parliament.
More information: Conclusions from the High Level Accession Dialogue [10 KB] and Press points [84 KB]