Friday, March 30, 2007

Macedonia makes progress, should work more

On its road to the European Union Macedonia should pay special attention to the Framework Agreement implementation, positive policy for employing ethnic communities, resuming of the power decentralization process, judicial reforms, combat against corruption and organized crime for improving the business climate in the country, Michael Leigh, director general of the European Commission's Enlargement Directorate-General, said Monday in Skopje after his meetings with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Vice-Premier Gabriela Konevska-Trajkovska.

- Macedonia has been making progress in many areas, but it should work more, Lee said, adding that the date for EU entry talks depend on the country's readiness.

- I commend the Government's ambitious goals for adopting laws on modernisation and reforms in the country in regard to the EU membership. However, not only quantity but also the quality of the adopted laws and their efficient application are rather significant, Leigh said.

He believed that the negotiations on facilitating the EU visa regime should be completed in May.

Leigh also referred to the EU Economic Aid, under which the Union has allocated about Euro 300 million to Macedonia for the beginning of the new decade.

- It is my responsibility to insure that those funds will be used appropriately and the country will build its capacity to use them by itself, Leigh said.

The Euro-integration process is the main national interest, Konevska-Trajkovska said.

- We wish to meet deadlines we have ambitiously set and we (the Government) see 2010 as a target year when Macedonia's legislation will be fully harmonized with the Union's one, she said, adding that special attention has been paid to the political, economic criteria.

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