Wednesday, 12 October 2011, Budapest
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT VELJANOSKI on "Security dimensions of the Western Balkan Cooperation"
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Republic of Macedonia is an active supporter of the regional initiatives and processes, through which it manifests its political commitment for strong regional cooperation and support of the courtiers from the Region. We are convinced that using the basic postulates of our foreign policy- the solution of the open issues though dialogue and preparedness for cooperation, we contribute for the stability in the Region, the European Continent and the world in general.
The challenges the world is facing with: international terrorism, organized crime, trafficking persons, drugs, are challenges which tangle us all- small and big, rich or less rich. That is why; every country and responsible government must impose maximum efforts to surpass these global negative phenomena. That is why, the Euro-Atlantic integration is important for every country, but also, it is important for NATO, the European Union and the stability in general.
The Republic of Macedonia, since its independence, determined the membership in NATO and EU as a state priority. Our path to NATO formally started in 1993, when the Assembly adopted the Resolution on Accession in the NATO Alliance. On this path, the Republic of Macedonia transformed itself from a security user into a security contributor for the safety of the region and wider. On the other hand, the polls show that great number of citizens, over 85%, support our membership in NATO. This clearly shows that all political entities, from the area of politics and from the civil society, see the future of the Republic of Macedonia and the whole region in the Euro-Atlantic integration.
Using its constructive contribution in the regional cooperation, the Republic of Macedonia has demonstrated democratic capacity and principles. The initiative for cooperation in the framework of the USA-Adriatic Charter and its recent broadening during the Macedonian Chairmanship of the Group with the two new states: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, was confirmed through our active and constructive contribution in the mutual activities. We consider the Membership of Albania and Croatia in NATO our common success, and we are proud that our common contribution provided results.
Unfortunately, the Republic of Macedonia did not receive an invitation for membership on the Bucharest Summit, because of the well known reason- the absurd and imposed issue by the Republic of Greece regarding our constitutional name. Beside the fact that the Republic of Macedonia did not receive an invitation, we continue our constructive role in every area- from active participation in the negotiating process under the auspices of the United Nations to find a solution of the imposed issues, to intensive development of the cooperation with NATO. The continuous participation of the Republic of Macedonia in the international missions and operations lead by NATO, underlines the commitment of the country to actively contribute, as an equal partner of the Alliance, prepared to share the common responsibilities and values with the Alliance and the international community in the enforcement of the peace and stability. In this context, the Republic of Macedonia continues its participation in ISAF Mission of NATO to Afghanistan, the EU “ALTEA” Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the “UNIFIL” Mission in Lebanon, as well as with the logistics of the “KFOR” Forces in Kosovo, through the coordinative Centre for Support of the host country in the Republic of Macedonia.
Ladies and gentlemen
The Republic of Macedonia participates in the Common Foreign and Security Policy of EU, on the basis of its political determination to share the priorities of this important policy prior the membership in the Union, aiming to contribute in the promotion of the peace and stability globally, as well as building the peace and post-war stabilization of the regions of crisis. In this direction, the Republic of Macedonia continued its participation in EU ALTEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the participation in the Battle Group II/2012.
Regarding our participation in the EU Operations for crisis management the Council on Foreign Relations of EU adopted decision on opening negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia on ratification of a Framework Agreement, which will regulate the future participation of the Republic of Macedonia in crisis operations. The negotiations are in an advance phase, and the Agreement is expected to be ratified by the end of this year.
In the framework of the cooperation in the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Republic of Macedonia continues to join the common declarations, statements and positions of EU. The first half of this year was very intense in the context of joining the Decisions of the Council of EU on implementation of restrictive measures to third countries regarding the recent events in North Africa and Near East.
At the meeting held in the framework of the regional initiatives, the Republic of Macedonia, providing concrete proposals makes efforts to implement the priorities in the framework of these initiatives. Our contribution in the definition of the new concept of regional cooperation can be evaluated as significant. The new phase of the regional cooperation means more active role and greater responsibility of the region itself, as well as responsibility of each country, especially in the functionally connected initiatives such as MARRI Center and RACVIAC.
The determination and the active approach of the Republic of Macedonia, inter alia, though the active participation in US-Adriatic Charter, South-East Defense Ministerial. The Republic of Macedonia as an initiator of the USA-Adriatic Charter continuously participates in the activities of the group, considering that these activities strengthen the regional stability and the capacity for Euro-Atlantic integration of its members. The common participation in ISAF of the countries of the region, contributes for strengthening the international peace and cooperation, promotes values and principles of NATO, as well as the capacity and in the interoperability of Army and soldiers. In this context, it offers own training capacities for preparation of the security forces of the partners. Supports the inclusion for future enlargement of the Adriatic Group with the remaining countries from the Region and strengthened inclusion of the NGO sector in these activities.
By the middle of 2012, the Republic of Macedonia will start the chairmanship of the SEECP thus coordinating the activities aimed at regional cooperation in the spirit of the Charter adopted by the Member States of this wide initiative in the region.
The Macedonian parliament has made significant reforms in the past few years, raising the overall parliamentary capacity. These efforts of ours, which are grouped and common, are continuously being evaluated as positive. This was concluded in the last two EU Reports, and I am certain that this will be a remark in this year’s report as well, which is being presented in Brussels at this very moment.
Another dimension, which I would like to underline is our international activity- that is the parliamentary diplomacy, as a significant mechanism which can assist us to achieve the sustainability and promotion of the cooperation.
I firmly believe that we all, the Balkan countries have capacity to build a new Balkan, liberated from the remains of the past. We have one goal, similar interests, common future. Additional efforts are needed for the achieved progress to become secured and irreversible. Our policy must remain proactive, followed by integration of the region in the Euro-Atlantic structure as soon as possible. I believe that this Fifth Conference contributes in the promotion of our cooperation towards achievement of our common vision- united and secured Europe.