A delegation from the ALDE Party Bureau visited Pristina, Kosovo and Skopje, Macedonia last week where they met and affirmed their support for ALDE member parties participating in the respective governments.
On Thursday, the delegation was received by Behgjet Pacolli, the First Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and leader of ALDE Party member party Aleanca Kosova e Re (AKR), and then also met with other senior members of the party and its representatives in the Kosovan Assembly. They also met with Gjergj Dedaj and the leadership of the Partia Liberale e Kosoves (PLK).
ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP said: “Ten years since Kosovo declared independence is not much, but the youngest country in Europe is full of energy and potential. Kosovo is an independent state, and the new government, in which the liberal party AKR has a major role, shows that it has found a way to consolidate its sovereignty, empower its institutions and maintain peace and democracy. Of course, the country has a long way to go before joining the Euro-Atlantic structures and we have agreed with Deputy Prime Minister Pacolli to work on visa liberalisation with the EU as a major step in that direction."
On Friday, the delegation travelled on to Skopje, Macedonia, where they held a series of meetings including with Bujar Osmani, Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, H.E. Viktor Dimovski, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Adnan Kjahil, Minister of Foreign Investments, members of Parliament from all political parties in the Assembly of Macedonia, as well as Goran Milevski, Chairman and Zoran Sapuric, Minister for Regulation and Improvement of Investment Climate, of ALDE Party member party Liberalno-demokratska Partija (LDP).
Following these meetings, Kyuchyuk added: “We should congratulate the government of Zoran Zaev for the relatively short period in which he managed to put an end to the political impasse in which Macedonia had fallen. The government shows political will to serve the citizens’ interests and to adhere to the principles of transparency, equality and rule of law and in Brussels this is appreciated positively. Following the signing of the Friendship Treaty with Bulgaria, I sincerely hope that we will soon see significant progress on the name issue of the country that will open Macedonia's doors for EU membership. The integration of the Western Balkans is in the interest of the whole EU, and we in ALDE party and LIBSEEN will continue to work for the realisation of this cause."
Gašper Koprivsek, Treasurer of the ALDE Party, said: "Kosovo achieved a crucial step forward with the ratification of border demarcation with Montenegro. It is a clear message of commitment and focus of the youngest European country to become fully integrated in the EU. People of Kosovo deserve visa liberalisation as soon as possible. Macedonia, under a left-centre government, with liberals as junior coalition partners, is finally facing to find a way out of a decade long deadlock in its way towards EU and NATO. I hope the forthcoming steps will be successful and without unnecessary obstacles in Macedonian internal politics."
Roman Jakič, Chairman of the Liberal South East European Network (LIBSEEN), said: “Liberals have always been in favour of a pro-active policy towards SE Europe incentivising reconciliation and economic development in the region. The full integration of the Western Balkan countries is in our mutual political, security and economic interest. We in LIBSEEN, at the same time, reiterate that EU membership does not constitute a goal in itself: the strict conditionality approach is about the much-needed domestic reform.”