Skopje, 16 July 2020

Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepares for EU negotiations

The upcoming EU accession negotiations will be a demanding test for national institutions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be one of the key institutions that will be tasked to coordinate and implement actions especially related to the External relations cluster and the External relations and the foreign, security and defence policy. The MFA activities in this regard, including the development of the adequate legal and institutional framework, are part of the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA).

All this upcoming work will require development of additional skills of MFA’s staff, to be able to respond to the challenges ahead. Last year, the project conducted an assessment of MFA’s staff in order to map the areas in which further strengthening is needed. This assessment pinpointed the different areas that should be covered through capacity building activities, from preparing and presentation of the country’s positions toward EU membership, to horizontal issues related to the format and methodology of the accession negotiations. Based on these findings and in cooperation with different directorates of the Ministry, a training plan for the staff was developed. The planned training activities are to be conducted by a team of national and international experts, who have a wide background and experience in this area.

The implementation of the training plan started in early July with the online workshop for presentation and communication skills, guided by Verica Andreevska, external consultant from UNOPS. Senior MFA staff discussed and received training in various aspects of communication, including online video conferencing, crisis communication management and public presentation skills.

In the forthcoming period other workshops and training foreseen by the training plan, will be implemented by local and international experts.