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Macedonia will emerge stronger and will be part of EU, Poposki tells Brussels conference

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Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Poposki is taking part Wednesday in the conference “The Western Balkans: Towards European Future”, organized in Brussels by the European People’s Party (EPP), the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies and Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Speaking at the event, the Macedonian Minister said the debate was important considering its theme, MIA’s correspondent reported from Brussels. “It is important mostly because of the time when it is being organized, because this is a time full of challenges for the European Union itself, the Balkan region and Macedonia,” Poposki stated.

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“What is probably most important for us is that even in these complicated times there are people in the EU who want to send a clear message that the pledges made back in 2003 about the whole of Balkans being part of the EU are going to be fulfilled. Probably it won’t happen tomorrow and probably the process will be marred by obstacles. In fact, there are sides in the EU itself advocating exiting the Union rather than joining it. But one thing is for sure – the EU has managed to emerge stronger after crisis situations like these,” FM Poposki stated noting that the enlargement process was probably ‘the best and most successful peace project of the EU.’

Referring to Macedonia, he said the country would emerge stronger from this process ‘no matter how some challenges might seem difficult and insurmountable at the moment’.

“The process will not be easy, but I believe at conferences like this one we can reaffirm the message that Macedonia will surely be part of the EU emerging stronger as a state in the meantime,” he said.

Speakers at the conference, including MEPs Andrej Plenkovic, Elmar Brok, Eduard Kukan, David McAllister, Cristian Dan Preda, focused on the 2003 Thessaloniki Agenda urging the promise given to the Balkan countries to be fulfilled.

Speaking on behalf of the EPP, its representatives vowed that the center-right political party would make sure the EU opened its doors for the non-EU countries in the region to join the Union after the expiring of the enlargement moratorium in 2019.