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COOPERATING FOR SECURITY IN THE WESTERN BALKANS PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 December 2012 12:15

Dear Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am extra-ordinarily honored to be present at this conference and in the very beginning I would like to express my congratulations and gratitude to the organizers who have done a great job here. In particular, I am privileged to be part of this fine selection of participants and discuss important topics like the one chosen for this conference.

 

Countries of South-East Europe have evidently changed a lot in the last two decades and this is due to the democratization of their institutions and societies. These socio-political reforms have imposed the need to build new multidimensional relations, both in form and content.

When the multidimensional cooperation is addressed, we must consider the fact that countries of the region have already put their signatures on numerous multilateral acts and treaties and committed themselves for democratic values and criteria and euro-Atlantic standards. These values are primarily dedicated to peace and stability in the region, principles of liberal democracy, free-market economy, multilateral foreign policy and international laws.

Besides the general interests, the countries from South-East Europe also have specific common interests. Without any doubt, a central place in these interests takes their strategic determination for integration and contribution in the Euro-Atlantic structures.

Today, more than ever, the integration in the Euro-Atlantic structures represents a key guarantee for peace, security and all-round development of each member-country, as well as the region as a whole. In contemporary times, we are witnesses that the national security of one country can no longer be observed in the diopter of isolation.

Countries who have gone through the road of integration in NATO or EU like Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia serve as the best example of how regional cooperationcatalyzes the process of integration in Euro-Atlantic structures.

The Republic of Macedonia, the country where I come from, as well as other countries in the region who aspire for integration, have an advantage of being surrounded with neighbor countries – members of NATO and EU. In this regard, without any hesitation, we should materialize the opportunity of cooperation in the frame of A-5 Chapter sponsored by NATO in order to have a quicker and more qualitative process of integration in our respective countries.

My country, loaded with the historic luggage of the region, has been continuously aware of the importance of regional cooperation as a condition and standard in Euro-Atlantic integrations, and therefore has significantly contributed to this common determination. Very often, my country has initiated and organized high-level meetings of statesmen from the region, as well as conferences approaching the regional cooperation very closely. If we agree on this, then it will a just statement if we say that Macedonia is well-geared in the Euro-Atlantic integration process and is getting closer and closer to full integration. It is a pity to say but, we are still only getting closer and not entering IN.

The open name dispute with Greece is seriously hindering the finalization of gaining membership in NATO and EU for Macedonia. It is fair to say that governments of Macedonia, going through the process of transition, did not show sufficient political capacity and decision-making power in order to solve the name dispute with Greece in the frameworks of UN. In this regard, I think that, being a member country of NATO and EU, Greece should have been takena more constructive and pragmatic role for finding a compromise solution. Let’s hope it doesn’t take any much longer than this as we are witnessing a more positive approach from both sides in the recent times.

Countries from the region aspiring to integrate in Euro-Atlantic structures should not expect benefits if they are willing to load their problemson the shoulders of these structures which already face countless challenges on a daily basis.  Membership in these structures provides extra potential for these aspiring countries in the dimension of democratic values and security at national, regional and global level. Therefore, any contradiction among countries from the region should be resolved in the spirit of dialogue, cooperation and goal-sharing policy.

When addressing the energy as a highly important matter for the region,  regarding my country, I would like to state that the strategic determination of Macedonia on this plan is primarily to put in function its own energy resources, at the same time using the fossil energy resources in effective and economical way, and renewable resources on a maintainable way.

In order to provide energy supply safety generated outside of the Macedonian borders, as well as efficient functioning of the market, measures are undertaken for construction of the electric energy interconnections with the neighboring countries.

From the aspect of safety of the supply with natural gas to the countries in the region and beyond, a Memorandum is signed between Swiss company EGL and the Governments of R. Italy, R. Albania and R. Macedonia for the realization of the Trans Adriatic gas pipeline TAP.

The energy supply safety is already becoming one of the most significant factors of the geopolitical stability in global frameworks. For that reason, this issue deserves priority and comprehensive treatment. No country can achieve supply safety by itself. For safety of the energy supply strong cooperation is needed primarily with the neighboring countries, with the countries of the region and with the countries with which the systems for transport and supply of energy are connected, as well as the countries with which the energy markets are shared.

In the end, on behalf of the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia, I would like to add that strong and close bilateral relations between countries can positively reflect on intensifying and broadening regional cooperation on other issues. All this will further contribute for more stable, more developed and more integrated Euro-Atlantic structures. Obviously, the day when the lesson of disagreements and human tragedies serves as the best example has come so that today and tomorrow we see on the bright side of cooperation and joint action for the good of all.

Thank you for your attention.

ISMET RAMADANI

Vice President

 

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