Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić was on an official visit to the Republic of Macedonia 12-13 March 2018.
She held talks in Skopje with Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Parliament Speaker Thalat Xhaferi. She also met with representatives of the Croat community in Macedonia as well as with representatives of Croatian companies and Croatian businesspeople.
The talks underlined the traditionally friendly relations between Croatia and Macedonia, with both sides expressing a wish to continue intensifying bilateral cooperation in various areas, notably economy, through a stronger presence of Croatian companies in Macedonia.
Pejčinović Burić expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the Macedonian government’s “3-6-9” action plan aimed at strategic reforms, including justice and the rule of law, public administration, intelligence services and media freedom, all with the intent of speeding up the country’s EU integration process. The talks also touched on the messages of the European Commission’s Enlargement Strategy released in February, with both sides wishing that Macedonia get the Commission’s unconditional recommendation in the spring, which would be the basis for the European Council’s decision to launch the accession negotiations.
The foreign minister highlighted Croatia’s willingness to continue offering technical assistance to Macedonia by transferring our know-how regarding the EU accession process, which is already taking place through a number of twinning projects.
Pejčinović Burić welcomed the Macedonian government’s commitment to resolving the name issue with Greece, hopeful that the talks would have a successful outcome. Along with the full implementation of the reform agenda, that act would be crucial for the realization of another major strategic goal for Macedonia – NATO membership. Croatia also appreciates Macedonia’s concrete steps in the area of foreign policy, with the goal of building and reconstructing neighbourly relations with other Southeast European countries.