16th May 2023, Brussels – Since its independence, Republic of North Macedonia has been committed to the Euro-Atlantic integration. Starting last year, accession negotiations were launched, screening process is ongoing, which is to be completed in November this year, followed by EC Report. Subsequently, activities are expected to intensify in order to attain the goal of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia to become a fully-fledged EU Member State by 2030, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, said in his address at the European Policy Center: The war and its implications for the Balkans: North Macedonia’s perspective”.
“We are strongly committed to implementing the necessary structural reforms on the road to becoming a fully-fledged EU Member State. We aim for creating better living conditions, better standard of living for the citizens, better future, especially for the young people. Or simply put – to bring Europe home”, Minister Besimi said, adding that no obstacle should discourage us on the road to EU, but we should instead be even more motivated to develop the society and generate greater results.
Economic and Financial Dialogue plays crucial role in this process. Joint Conclusions, which are guidelines for next year’s policies, were endorsed today. They also contribute to focusing the country’s capacities on implementing the top priority reforms which encourage higher rates of economic growth.
“Main focus of Government policies, amid the energy crisis and the war in Ukraine, is on curbing the inflation and supporting the investments necessary for maintaining a positive growth rate in the short run and accelerating the growth in the medium run. Implementation of projected capital investments and expectation for reduced inflation in 2023, coupled with conducting structural reforms, are the basis for accelerated growth in the medium term. To that end, investments in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency are of high priority, thus contributing to reduced energy prices and diversification of energy sources. Government’s efforts to boost competitiveness of the economy will be targeted at coping with the informal economy and promoting digital transition, also working on improving the education performance so as to reduce unemployment rate”, Minister Besimi pointed out.
Emphasizing the benefits of EU membership, he underlined that each member state is better of in the EU rather than being out of it, pointing out the fact that EU creates a new value.
“EU membership, above all, involves accessing a market of more than half a billion consumers, provides for higher economic growth, more favourable business climate, bringing the standard of living closer to the EU standard, faster progress in structural reforms for development of the private sector, advancement in institutional democracy and good governance, political stability, as well as rule of law and fight against corruption. Each new progress provides access to new Funds for financing the set goals. The membership provides for increased safety and stability of the country, contributes to higher credit rating of the country and scaled-up domestic and foreign investments, which entail new jobs, accompanied by advanced knowledge, new technology and boosted competitiveness of the domestic economy”, Minister of Finance said.
He stressed that, considering the benefits, our country has no other alternative on its road to EU, adding that speeding up the negotiation processes for all Western Balkans countries is especially important, in particular from the point of view of the developments with Ukraine and ensuring long-term stability in the region.
The European Policy Center (EPC) is an independent, not-for-profit think tank international organization dedicated to fostering European integration.
Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, took part in the Annual Economic and Financial Dialogue between EU and the Western Balkans and Türkiye, at which Joint Conclusions for next year’s priorities were endorsed.