Updated: 01-Apr-2003 NATO Speeches


31 March 2003


by Boris Trajkovski, at the ceremony marking the ending of
NATO's Operation Allied Harmony and trasnfer of authority to EU

Excellencies, distinguished guests, Mr Robertson, Mr Solana, Prime Minister, ministers members of the Government, Minister of Defence of France and Mr Volis.

It is my great honour to take part in this historic event, the celebration of the beginning of the first peace keeping mission of the EU. I am convinced that the mission “Concordia” in the Republic of Macedonia will be a successful one for the European Union. It will be a successful beginning of a new important page in the history of the integration of the Republic of Macedonia. The successful ending of the mission will mark the termination of the last phase of the process of the consolidation of the security.

It will mean taking on of our own responsibility for the internal stability and fulfilment of one of the preconditions for membership of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Union and in NATO. At the same time, this mission offers us a chance to develop a particularly close collaboration with the EU Forces from the moment of their establishment, a chance that we do not intend to miss. From our side, we will do our utmost to come to a joint success.

Please, allow me to welcome the EU Forces, therefore, to Macedonia, and wish them a lot of success in their endeavours in the strengthening of the security and stability environment in the country and the region. In addition, please allow me to, on my personal behalf and on behalf of all citizens in the Republic of Macedonia, express our satisfaction and gratitude to NATO and in particular Mr George Robertson and the entire personnel for their successful work and contribution.

All the NATO missions so far, including Essential Harvest, Ambers Fox and Allied Harmony, have been in principle the expression of the support and commitment of the Alliance to the peace and stability and security and prosperity in the Republic of Macedonia and the region. NATO, with its continued presence with its Advisory units, will continue to support the efforts of the institutions of the country to accelerate the process of defence and security reforms that will award the country a full membership in NATO.

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, with the transfer of the NATO mission to the EU forces, Europe is entering to the new era in the realisation of the European Security and Defence Identity and Policy in practice. The experience has taught us that we can best enhance security and stability, democracy and prosperity by acting together. The presence of the EU Forces in Macedonia is also another sign that we all belong to the community of shared values of democracy, rule of law and market economy.

In this context, the arrival of the EU Forces in Macedonia for me symbolises three important things: the first is that this mission will support the strengthening of our own capabilities, so that we are in a position to ensure lasting peace and stability. The second is the confidence that we have in the European Union. The third is the ambition of this country to establish closer links with the European Union in all areas. Our ambition is full membership in the Union, and I would like to see this mission, and our joint efforts in promoting stability, as a step in that direction. The more of EU we have in Macedonia, the more of Macedonia there will be in the EU.

In this context, the forthcoming six months is a time-frame when we need to realise carefully our joint priorities in strengthening the rule of law throughout the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, to tackle the security risks and sources of instability that stand as threats to our security and to increase the capacity of the institutions of the country in the protection and promotion of the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republic of Macedonia is fully committed to realise these priorities. In this respect, I am confident that we will be able to consolidate the undertaken reforms that will strengthen our agenda for full membership into the European Union.

In the end, I welcome the EU forces and I sincerely hope that they, together with our institutions, will have successful work in the next six months. And once again, I greatly thank Mr Javier Solana of the European Union and the European Union itself for responding positively to my invitation. In partnership, we will make this operation a success.
I thank you all for your attention.

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