11th September 2023, Skopje – Government is maximally dedicated to implementing the reforms, which pave the way to more rapid and full EU integration. Negotiating process is opened, as is the opportunity for accelerating the EU integration process. Three is ongoing screening process, as an initial phase, the draft report for the first cluster has also been prepared, which, among other things, indicates that reforms are being implemented in support of improved budget revenue collection and expenditure execution, while also strengthening the fiscal discipline. This was concluded at the meeting held between Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi and the Head of the Directorate–General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), Gert Jan Koopman, which took place in Brussels.
“Primary goal of implementing the respective reforms is bringing Europe home. Reforms are defined through all the actions we take at the national level, together with our partners from the EU, firmly and continuously supporting our commitment to join the EU. The support takes up various forms, and the progress on that path implies strengthened cooperation and easier access to financial resources , all to the end of implementing the determined reforms”, Minister Besimi said.
The mutual correlation between the reform implementation and the financial assistance for the EU Candidate Countries was also highlighted during this meeting. In other words, implementation of the reforms will imply getting closer to the EU and having access to plenty of new Funds. At present, IPA Pre-Accession Funds are available to the Candidate Countries. Total of EUR 14.2 billion has been made available via IPA III covering the 2021-2027 period, whereby EUR 392 billion is available to the Candidate Countries during that period. These are only part of the benefits to be yielded upon completing the EU-related process.
The points of discussion also covered the energy crisis and the measures undertaken to cope therewith. Minister also highlighted the so-far set of measures starting with the COVID-19 crisis, as well as those adopted during the energy and the price crisis, thereby expressing his gratitude to the EU for its continuous support in helping our country to manage the crisis.
In this respect, it was stressed that the first tranche amounting to EUR 50 million under the announced EU Macro-Financial Assistance provided to North Macedonia, is expected to be paid by the end of the year. Decision to provide Macro-Financial Assistance to our country by the EU, totaling EUR 100 million, was made during the summer, whereby the first tranche is expected to be disbursed by the end of the year.