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Minister Fajon in Skopje: "For North Macedonia, the European path is the right path”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon is visiting Skopje, where she and Deputy Prime Minister of North Macedonia for European Affairs Bojan Maricik signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation between Slovenia and North Macedonia for the 2023-2024 period.

The Deputy Prime Ministers reaffirmed the excellent and traditionally friendly relations between the two countries and made a commitment to strengthen them further, including through a development cooperation partnership.

For the 2023-2024 period, the two high officials signed the 5th Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation worth EUR 2.1 million. The greater part of the funds will be used for the implementation of projects, and the remaining financial resources will support the EU integration of North Macedonia. Deputy Prime Minister Fajon pointed out: "More than EUR 2 million will support projects in infrastructure, sustainable development and environmental protection, with a focus on water management. North Macedonia is one of Slovenia's most important partner countries. Slovenia is complementing its political support for the accession of North Macedonia to the EU with development activities. I am pleased that our country is among the top five bilateral donors in North Macedonia, which further strengthens our friendly and diversified relations and people-to-people ties", said Minister Fajon at the signing of the Memorandum. Since 2010, Slovenia has committed more than EUR 43 million to development projects in North Macedonia.

Fajon and Maricik also discussed the EU enlargement process. "We strongly support the European path of North Macedonia. I have urged my Macedonian counterparts to focus on the next steps, in particular on constitutional reform. The European path is the right path for North Macedonia. Therefore, it is crucial that political forces unite and take responsible steps to improve the lives of North Macedonian citizens. Slovenia will continue to help North Macedonia by sharing its experience and knowledge on how to adapt to European standards", Fajon said.

Maricik and Fajon agreed that the EU enlargement process is an important incentive for the countries in the region to implement reforms. In this context, Minister Fajon pointed out that the enlargement policy ensures stability in the region, which is very important given the current tense geopolitical situation.

As part of her visit to North Macedonia, Minister Fajon also travelled to Probištip to see the completed development cooperation project, which was co-funded by Slovenia and implemented by the Centre for International Cooperation and Development. The modernised hydrosystem provides drinking water to 100,000 people and has improved flood protection for settlements along the Zletovica River.