23rd January 2024, Skopje – Growth Plan for the Western Balkans is a sound instrument and carries a strong message to the region that the countries of the Western Balkans should speed up on their path to the EU. EU is extending its hand, while the countries are to use that opportunity, take charge on their own front, implement reforms and bridge the gap by meeting the EU standard levels much more quickly all for the benefit of their own countries and citizens –these were the topics in the foreground of the meeting of Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, with the new Managing Director for the Western Balkans in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Valentina Superti.
“The Government and the Ministry of Finance are working committedly on reforms and policies which will bring Republic of North Macedonia closer to the EU family. During this month, the Economic Reform Program 2024-2026 has been adopted, containing all reform measures with an EU stamp approval, which we will focus on in the following period for the reform agenda to be delivered according to the set dynamics,” Minister Besimi said.
He underlined that this document will build onto the agenda of the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans, with the institutions already being prepared for the process.
“The five priority areas for North Macedonia selected in agreement with the DG NEAR refer to public finance management, digital and energy/green transition, human capital, business environment and rule of law. We are working, together with our colleagues from Brussels and the EU Delegation, on finalizing the key reform agenda elements. Further steps are aimed towards developing concrete activities for implementation of reforms and accompanying investments”, Minister Besimi said.
As pointed out at the meeting, the Reform Agenda 2024 – 2027 will provide the country to advance in the field of rule of law, increase public administration and judiciary efficiency, improve public services, boost productivity and create job opportunities, as well as gain ground in the field of digitalization and green transition. Measures’ implementation is going to contribute to strengthening country’s capacities to be shock-responsive, maintain macroeconomic stability and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.
Activities pertaining to implementation of this particular process are gaining speed. Today’s leaders’ meeting held in Skopje together with EU and USA representatives is part of the respective activities.