Today, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia responsible for European Affairs, Dr. Fatmir Besimi, is on a working visit in Great Britain, where he met David Lidington, the Minister for Europe of the British Government. He also visited the British Parliament, where he met Lord Hanney, Lord Bowness, Lord Maclennan, representatives of the Commission for European Affairs of the House of Lords of the British Parliament, as well as Owen Jenkins, Director for EU Enlargement and the Western Balkans.
The United Kingdom continuously supports the process of further EU enlargement. In his conversation with Besimi, the Minister for Europe emphasised the importance of attaining progress in line with the conclusions of the European Council in December concerning the HLAD priorities, the good neighbourhood relations and the name dispute. Britain confirms its continuing support for Macedonia’s efforts in gaining EU membership.
The United Kingdom supports Macedonia’s EU integration process by implementing projects in several areas: public management – support for public administration reform, regulatory impact assessment, capacity building in terms of professional qualifications and the Parliamentary strengthening programme; the rule of law and fundamental rights: support of projects for implementing anti-corruption measures, establishing the suspended sentence in Macedonia; implementing the anti-discrimination and equality strategy; and, in the area of fundamental rights – the freedom of expression. A British expert was included in the analysis of the draft Law on Civil Liability for Insult and Defamation.
During the meetings, Deputy Prime Minister Besimi mentioned the activities that are being undertaken by the Republic of Macedonia regarding the obligations under the High Level Accession Dialogue and other reform processes.
He pointed out that the High Level Accession Dialogue has enabled a new reform dynamics in the five key areas and that the progress achieved was justly acknowledged in the Spring Report of the European Commission, thus confirming that the country fulfils the requirements for opening the accession negotiations.
In the course of the meetings, bilateral cooperation was mentioned, as well as the support that Macedonia receives from Great Britain concerning the integration process, particularly in the area of public administration reform. Overall, the meetings were focused on the support for the integration of the country into the EU.