10 Dec, 2021

Liberals urge to move on with integration of the Western Balkans in the EU

The regional liberal conference “A Renewed Narrative for Accelerated EU Integration”, hosted by LDP and ALDE Party, took place in Skopje on 5 December. The event was attended by liberal leaders from across the Western Balkans region, and included opening remarks from Goran Milevski, Minister of Local Self-Government and leader of LDP North Macedonia and others.

Two panel discussions "The future of the EU: Quo Vadis Europa 2021" and “Membership of North Macedonia and the Western Balkans in the EU: how and when?" were addressed by North Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, LDP Vice President Monika Zajkova MP, as well as other prominent liberal politicians from the region and the EU.

LDP’s entire international family from the region and ALDE were present in Skopje and perhaps are the only ones who are currently trying to help the country on its path to the EU. We do not see the EPP and the Socialists having much activity on this matter over the past period and that is why we are really grateful to our partners who are here with maximum support for North Macedonia in the European integration process," said Milevski.

Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, ALDE Party acting co-president, expressed his great support for the work of the LDP in the country.

We are attending this conference with all LDP partners to reaffirm the clear position that the countries of the Western Balkans should be part of the EU. Our Union may have high standards for the environment, social policy, but the EU should decide which way to go, whether to be a political alliance as before or to move forward for a better life of the citizens. It means that the process between Bulgaria and North Macedonia should be resolved to end North Macedonia’s blockade,” said Kyuchyuk.

The ALDE Party acting co-president also hosted the Sofia Forum on Western Balkans the very next day titled “Time to Rebuild Trust”. You can see more about this event here.

Kyuchyuk also participated on the Renew Europe Western Balkans Conference on 8 December.

As leader of LIBSEEN, bringing together liberal parties in 11 Southeast European countries, Slovenian Roman Jakič also voiced his support for the start of North Macedonia's EU negotiations and the integration of the region in the EU. He reminded participants of the Joint Declaration adopted in the framework of ALDE Leaders Meeting at the EU/Western Balkans Summit in October 2021.

"I must state that in 2004 we were on that road together, we had pre-accession negotiations, Slovenia entered, and North Macedonia did not even start. Europe must decide which direction it will take - there is progress in digitalisation, and other aspects, but not in enlargement, it somehow stands still," Jakič added.

You can watch the regional liberal conference here

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