Commentary EU accession

PM Babiš visits North Macedonia

Czech PM Andrej Babiš will express Prague's support for Skopje's EU integration efforts during his official visit to North Macedonia on June 10th to 11th.

The Czech Republic is interested in expanding cooperation in trade and investments as the Western Balkans, including North Macedonia, has many traditional trading partners among Czech companies. The talks during PM Babiš´s state visit to North Macedonia will also deal with the situation in the Western Balkans region, the relationship between the Visegrad Four countries and the Western Balkans, and the migration crisis. The Czech Republic also offers North Macedonia knowledge gained from the EU accession process.

PM Babiš will meet his counterpart Zoran Zaev, President Stevo Pendarovski, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Koco Angjushev, Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi and Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski.

In April, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček visited North Macedonia. At the meeting with PM Zaev, he promised that the Czech Republic would support the country in the opening of EU accession talks. Zaev, among other things, thanked the Czech Republic for assistance in dealing with the migration crisis and for supporting the reform of security forces. Hamáček also signed a donation agreement for 25 million CZK with the North Macedonian Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski.

Furthermore, the Czech Republic agreed to provide technology to help detect migrants in trucks.

The Czech Republic has had a police contingent in North Macedonia since February 2016. The Czech Republic is also counting on its activities this year. The financial support of North Macedonia has also been regular since 2016. "Within the framework of the Interior Ministry program, we have sent Macedonia almost 100 million CZK," said Hamáček.

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