President Van der Bellen Reassured Austria’s Support to Pendarovski

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: March 30, 2023; 23:02 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria’s Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen Went on an Official Visit to North Macedonia and Met with his Macedonian Counterpart Stevo Pendarovski. Van der Bellen reassured support for North Macedonia’s EU accession and opted for constitutional Change in the country.

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen (r) visited North Macedonia and his Macedonian Counterpart Stevo Pendarovski (l) / Picture: © / Carina Karlovits/HBF

During a visit to North Macedonia, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen called for further efforts in the EU accession process. For the enlargement process to progress, "a visible sign" in the form of the constitutional amendment agreed with Bulgaria is now necessary, Alexander Van der Bellen said at a meeting with President Stevo Pendarovski in Skopje. North Macedonia is "on the right track" and Austria will fully support the country in this process.

Stevo Pendarovski expressed confidence that the constitutional amendment would be implemented in the coming months. Referring to concerns in the country that after the fulfillment of the required reform in the EU accession process, further conditions could be imposed by Bulgaria or another EU member state, he said: “The EU must not allow further issues to be problematized by member states and thereby block our rapprochement." The credibility of the European Union is at stake.

In consideration of the geopolitical situation, it is "particularly important right now to connect the countries of the region even more quickly and closely to the EU," said President Van der Bellen, welcoming the fact that North Macedonia has joined the EU's Russia sanctions. The president also praised the country's "important role" in the further development of regional cooperation, as in the negotiations to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

Alexander Van der Bellen praised the bilateral relations between Austria and North Macedonia as "excellent". Economic contacts are also "excellent," the president said, pointing out that Austria ranks first in terms of foreign investment in North Macedonia. "But of course, this can always be further expanded as well," said Alexander Van der Bellen, who arrived with a business delegation of around 25 domestic companies.

According to ORF, Van der Bellen was also accompanied on his visit by Justice Minister Alma Zadic, who took the opportunity to sign a declaration on enhanced cooperation in the field of justice with her counterpart Krenar Lloga. She had already signed a similar agreement on cooperation in improving the rule of law with Albania on Monday.


Federal Presidency