The State Secretary at the Secretariat for European Affairs, Kalinka Gaber, noted that this technical support from Croatian institutions occurs at the moment when Croatia assumes the EU presidency. As she pointed out, Croatia is not only a partner, but also a genuine friend who supports us in our strategic goals. “Our cooperation with Croatia has been raised to a higher level, given that Croatia is allocating its own budgetary funds to support our European integration process. Today’s meeting at the Agency is of high importance since it is this institution that has a key role in the negotiations process in Chapter 11, which deals with agriculture. It is through such activities that, with the support of our Croatian colleagues, we will see an improvement in the inter-operational work of the institutions involved in this sector”, said Secretary Gaber.
The Agency for Support of Agriculture and Rural Development is the second institution for which support from Croatian experts is provided through the project, for strengthening of capacities for EU integration. Ambassador for the Republic of Croatia, Nives Tiganj, stated that Croatia advocates for opening accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and is fully engaged on this issue within the institutions of the EU. “Through our cooperation on the technical level, as with all other measures taken, the Republic of North Macedonia needs to show a willingness to begin this process. The Republic of Croatia and its embassy in Skopje remain open to all future cooperation with the national institutions”, emphasized ambassador Tiganj.
The director of the Agency for Financial Support in Agriculture and Rural Development, Nikolche Babovski, stated that through the project ‘Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia’ the capacities of the Agency are strengthened, as are the capacities of all other institutions of the Republic of Macedonia for integration into the European Union, in all phases of the accession process. “Capacity building and skill sharing have great value today, because with the right skills and knowledge you can easily overcome any difficulties and reach your desired goal. Our goal is clear: adapting to the common agricultural policy of the European Union. I hope that the Republic of Croatia, who currently presides over the European Union, through this project and through their ongoing support, will help us to walk the path of Euro-integration and will provide support for our entry into the European Union”, said director Babovski.
Several key institutions will be supported through ‘Nordic Support for Progress of North Macedonia’ project in the approximation and harmonization of the national legislation as part of the EU integration process.