PM Gruevski: By setting a date Council of EU will open new chapter in relations with Macedonia

The European Commission's Report on Macedonia progress is the most positive one thus far, realistic and one that precisely depicts the country's EU-integration progress. By setting a date for commencing the accession talks, which has been recommended by the EC for fourth time in a row, the Council of the European Union will open new chapter for our country that we will know to appreciate and respond to, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference after EU Ambassador presented him with the report, Gruevski said: Nobody should ever question our objective. It is one and only, we wish to start the (EU) accession negotiations and soon become an EU member."

"At the same time we encourage the Council of the EU, i.e all of its members, to support our efforts as the EC has been doing all of these years," Gruevski said.

Gruevski welcomed the report's assessments, which say that Macedonia has made progress in meeting the political, economic criteria, harmonization of the national with the EU legislation and the regional cooperation.

Macedonia, he said, is strongly committed to build a functional state with multiethnic character, powerful and competitive economy and the highest-level possible cooperation with all of its neighbours and beyond.

The EC report is a success of all citizens of Macedonia, regardless of their ethnic, religious, party or any other affiliation, he said.

"Today Macedonia is getting confirmation for everything it has invested, done for the past period by all discussions, political debates, adopted laws, all of its commitment and energy," Gruevski said.

Taking a journalist's question, Gruevski said this report brought most positive assessments in comparison to the previous ones.

He also referred to the name issue and Athens' draft memo, saying that Macedonia in generally welcomes Greece's approach to establish communication.

"That is how we understand the memo - as an attempt for establishing communication. From that aspect we wish for that communication to be more frequent and have more substance in the future. I believe that both parties should work on enabling progress, respecting the democratic processes and building mutual confidence by respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity, and by dialogue, talks to finding a solution to the dispute, raised by our southern neighbor 21 years ago. We have good will and wish to keep building good relations in the European spirit," Gruevski said.