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The 16th meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Committee between the Republic of North Macedonia and the European Union (SA Committee) took place on 20 June 2019 in Brussels. The meeting was co-chaired by Ms Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans and Ms Kalinka Gaber, State Secretary for EU affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The SA Committee meeting took place a few weeks after the publication the 2019 enlargement package where the Commission again recommended that the Council opens accession negotiations with North Macedonia based on its positive evaluation of the progress made and of the fulfilment of the conditions identified by the Council in June 2018. It took note of the Council’s decision of 18 June 2019 to revert to the issue with a view to reaching a clear and substantive decision as soon as possible and no later than October 2019.
The SA Committee took stock of the state of play in relation to the political and economic criteria, alignment with the EU legislation (acquis), as well as implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. It welcomed the progress achieved in advancing EU reforms, especially in the areas identified in the 2018 Council Conclusions, including through the “3-6-9 Plan” and “Plan 18”.
The European Commission encouraged all political parties and national stakeholders to work jointly on maintaining and strengthening the political dialogue and continue to further deliver on the EU-related agenda, including in key areas such as the judiciary, fight against corruption and organised crime, the intelligence services, public administration, in inclusive and transparent manner. The European Commission outlined the importance of maintaining progress in alignment with the EU acquis.
The delegations recalled the Council Conclusions of 18 June 2019 and strongly welcomed the historic and unprecedented Prespa Agreement and the Treaty on Good Neighbourly Relations with Bulgaria.