After holding ten sessions of the Second Cycle of the National Convention for the European Union in the Republic of North Macedonia, supported by SlovakAid in the period from October 2019 to 15 March 2021, the preparations for the Fourth Plenary Conference began. From September 2020 to May 2021, all NCEU-MK activities were held online due to security measures against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The previously held three plenary conferences had the character of summarizing the results of the work of the held sessions, while this plenary conference has a predominantly thematic character. Furthermore, this plenary conference did not have the usual official part with the addresses of senior representatives of the institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia and the Slovak Republic, and the reason was the numerous events that took place on the day of its holding.
In the introductory part of the Conference, the messages of Mr. Ivan Korcok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, were conveyed by HE Henrik Markus, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Republic of North Macedonia. The content of the message coincides with the one that was personally expressed by the Minister during his visit in February 2021. It was also pointed out that Mr. Korcok in 2017 as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic, on behalf of Mr. Miroslav Lajcak, marked the beginning of NCEU-MK. Ambassador Markus, emphasizing that he has a great honour to address on behalf of Minister Korcok and conveying the regret of the Minister for not being able to deliver the address personally, stressed the importance of NCEU-MK in the process of adoption of European legislation. NCEU-MK has proved to be a successful example of cooperation between representatives of state institutions, representatives of the civil sector and other stakeholders that goes in favour of strengthening deliberative democracy. Thus, the chapters in which NCEU-MK operates, especially Chapters 23 and 24, show that the issues of the negotiation dialogue are approached substantively. In the message of Minister Korcok, it was mentioned that, in the big project of the European Union “Conference for the future of Europe” which started on 9 May 2021, the example of the Republic of North Macedonia can serve as a way to discuss the future of Europe, a way that was not known until now. The Republic of North Macedonia changed the name of the country for the sake of good neighbourly relations through the unprecedented example in the history of the European Union, but there was no logical response from the EU. “Together with the EU, we will strive to overcome obstacles to the start of EU membership negotiations. The Conference on the Future of Europe is a great opportunity for an open, honest and critical debate on how to shape our future according to our needs, now and for future generations. The difficult period with the Covid-19 pandemic was a test for the EU, while to overcome this, it is necessary for the EU to be open to the opinions of the citizens. This example can also be used to find a way to address current challenges: economic and health crisis, migration and instability. We would like to share these messages with the Macedonian citizens as well as the message about the partnership between the Slovak Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia in the “Conference on the Future of Europe”, but also in the overall European integration process until full EU membership.”
Read more at the link: Plenary conference 27 05 2021