Sekerinska: Macedonia and EU should not miss out on this chance

 Macedonia and the EU should ot miss out on this chance, said Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska at the annual meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Paris on Tuesday.

"Macedonia cannot miss out on this chance, but I hope that the EU will not miss out on it too. The status-quo is never an option for the Western Balkans. Either we go forward or going round in circles with the same problems," said Sekerinska.

She referred to the developments in Macedonia and the region in a panel titled "Western Balkans: The EU and Great Power Competition".

"Macedonia and the region need France. Now is the time to act fast because if we miss out on this opportunity, another decade will be lost, not only for the region, but also for Europe," added Sekerinska.

Regarding the name row, she said the countries' foreign ministers have reached a certain framework for a compromise and the Government is committed to solving the problem.

"We believe that solution of problems at home and with neighbors is the shortest path to EU and NATO. When we first took the EU path we heard that the European Commission and the EU are strict but fair. What we are seeing today is that the EC and EU are strict, but also full of doubt," said Sekerinska.

According to her, the Government has achieved progress in three key areas over the past year since its formation - media freedoms, intelligence reforms and rule of law - which has been noted by the EC.

Minister Sekerinska has been an ECFR Council member since April of this year.

ECFR is a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals. Launched in October 2007, it conducts research and aims to promote informed debate across Europe on the development of coherent and effective European values based foreign policy.

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