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Liaison Office Skopje  /  News  /  2020  /  NLO Skopje at a round table - the path towards EU and NATO: Perspectives and Challenges

Jan 31 2020

NLO Skopje at a round table - the path towards EU and NATO: Perspectives and Challenges

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - On Jan. 28,  2020 a round table titled “The path towards EU and NATO: Perspectives and Challenges” organized by the Council of Ambassadors and under the auspices of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, was held.

Among the Ambassadors accredited to North Macedonia Chief NATO Liaison Office Skopje, Slovenian Colonel Zoran Jankovič was an honor guest and a key note speaker at the round table.

In his speech, Colonel Jankovič stressed the major benefit from NATO membership to be the participation in the decision making process which is a powerful tool as all decisions are consensus based. He also mentioned that 28 NATO member nations have ratified the Protocol and now Spain remains to conclude the process which has commenced in their Parliament.

Colonel Jankovič also referred to the reforms process and said “Perception that only MOD and Armed Forces acceded to NATO is wrong. Comprehensive Governmental approach is needed but sometimes hard to achieve. Decision making process always starts and ends in the Capitals, that’s why link with your delegations and representatives in NATO entities is extremely important, as well as information exchange and protection of classified information. Beside MOD and Armed forces representatives, also experts from MOFA, crisis management experts and experts from all other ministries and different agencies are needed for successful work. Business as usual approach is not permitted, and changes in mindset, processes and structures are expected. You have in military terms only single set of forces to fulfill all tasks”.  

Colonel Jankovič continued with “A lot has already been achieved, but the positive momentum must be maintained, because despite the broad support there is still active internal and external opposition to the country’s NATO membership. Therefore it is vitally important for all parties to put their division aside and to engage constructively in the further implementation of reforms”. He continued that it is now certain that the country will soon become full-fledged member of the Alliance.

While reiterating that NATO is a transatlantic Alliance and it will remain as such, the bond between EU and NATO is inseparable and as the country is aspiring to join EU obligations for North Macedonia will derive thereof.

“Recognizing the multitude and complexity of challenges in the field of security and defence NATO and EU also enhanced cooperation. The Joi nt Declaration is a solid foundation for intensifying NATO – EU cooperation. Significant progress has been achieved over the past years, which was recently reflected in the fourth NATO – EU progress report”, said Colonel Jankovič

He concluded by expressing his gratitude to President Pendarovski and Ambassador Zhbogar for the opportunity to speak alongside them and said that NATO–EU cooperation is unprecedented and it shall continue to be enhanced at all levels. He stressed at the end that the contribution of today’s forum to achieving the objectives will be significant.

Story by NLO Skopje DM

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