The Institute of Politics has organized a new round table in Strumica, Northern Macedonia. It is part of the training of Simeon Veliki class and the co-organizer is the Ohrid Institute.

The round table began with a minute of silence in memory of the killed people in the tragic crash in Northern Macedonia.

The event was divided into two major topics: “The EU before and after the European Parliament elections” and “The United Balkans as a guarantee for the prosperity and security of the EU.”

Among the international participants were Prof. Dr. Vasko Naumovski, Ambassador of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to the United States and Prof. Dr. Andrey Lepavcov, an expert at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. They commented on the geopolitical situation in the Balkans and the historical changes in the neighbouring country in recent months.

Radoslav Tochev was a moderator of the round table, who is also one of the lecturers of this training course. According to him, one of the main topics is what is next going to happen for Northern Macedonia and the region after the changes in the recent months. He recalled that Bulgaria has always supported the integration of our neighbours in NATO and the EU.

Prof. Dr. Vasko Naumovski pointed out that he and Prof. Dr. Andrey Lepavtzov are among the people who have worked a lot on the issues related to the accession to the EU.

“The positive position that Bulgaria has had in support of Macedonia has been of crucial importance. Thanks to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the goals were focused on the Balkans. Historically, our region is a powder keg which we all have to guard. Changing stereotypes will take a long time. Now we are looking at another perspective that we become a region of Europe which is a full member equal to the rest of the EU countries. We need to have a lot of joint projects in the Balkans, “added Prof. Dr. Naumovski.

All of us have united precisely around the opinion that there is a lot of potential for development between the two countries like education, tourism, transport and infrastructure.

Prof. Dr. Andrey Lepavcov said that we all need to be realistic.

“With great fervour, Bulgaria has helped Macedonia as a real friend   during its presidency and not only then. There are small but dangerous groups that can quickly create conflicts and tension. It is important they to be neutralised on time, “he said.

According to Prof. Lepavcov there is a good selection of candidates for the upcoming presidential elections. “Whoever wins the elections can not change the European orientation of Macedonia,” he said.

The Institute of Politics will continue to bring together our own and foreign politicians to keep on the valuable exchange of experience and ideas.