9/25/2018
WHAT DOES MACEDONIA GET AND DOES IT LOSE SOMETHING FROM THE INTEGRATIONS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO?- MESSAGE OF STEFAN PETER, PRESIDENT OF THE FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL WITHIN THE ECONOMIC CHAMBER OF MACEDONIA

-Today, I talk to you as an Austrian European and a great supporter of the European idea since 1995 when Austria held a referendum and became a full member of the EU. Of course, the benefits of becoming a citizen of the EU are numerous, for example, travelling without limits, studying without special permits, consuming different products and services of huge assortment in any EU member state- stated Stefan Peter, president of the Foreign Investors Council at today's press conference held in the Economic Chamber of Macedonia (25.9.2018).

-  But, apart from saying nice things, I should also criticize some of the policies of the EU that is facing some problems. With Brexit, one country gets out of the European Union for the firs time, while the foreign policy of the EU member states is rather different, the EU functions rather slow in the decision-making process and is facing a huge bureaucracy. But, it is more than certain that the benefits are more numerous, than being out of the European family- highlighted Peter.

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Nevertheless, the European Union is the most successful project on the European continent in the 21st century, maybe even in the last 1000 years, regarding the preservation of peace, security, stability and prosperity. The EU is a region with the highest life expectancy rate in the world and a region with the highest human development index. The European Union is one of the most dominant economies in the world, with a market of over 500 million citizens and participation of 23% in the nominal GDP in the world. Half of the financial aid in the world comes from the EU member states and this is not a modern colonization, but it is an honest attempt to transfer the European values. I am talking about the European way of life and I believe that the door for the European way of life is open to Macedonia. The invitation in this moment cannot be more clear, the EU is not complete without Macedonia- stated Stefan Peter.

-As president of the Foreign Investors Council I express the stance of our member companies that we want to see Macedonia integrated in the EU and to build better business conditions for the foreign investments and better working conditions for our workers. The membership in the EU and NATO will contribute to greater democratization and better governance. The member states show greater progress regarding the credibility of the institutions, the effectiveness of the Government, the rule of law and the control of the corruption. The dynamic of the reforms is accelerated with the membership in NATO and the EU.

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But, what if the negative opinion on the European and NATO integrations of Macedonia is more dominant?

In that sense, the country will face with its credibility being lost, and, consequently, with losing the trust of the citizens in a better future.

The stance of the president of the Foreign Investors Council within the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, Stefan Peter, is that if Macedonia does not use this opportunity now and does not become part of the EU and NATO, the disappointment of the youth will be huge, the brain drain will increase, the foreign investments. exports and employments will reduce and the domestic companies can lose their competitiveness on the international market.

- The billion euros that the EU is ready to give Macedonia after a potential membership will be lost, as well as the initiatives for protection of the environment, the relations between the international universities and the E-infrastructure- assesses Peter.

The scope of foreign direct investments will be reduced due to the non-existence of long-term economic prospects and there is a potential danger for them to move to the neighboring countries, candidate countries for membership in the EU.

A lot of positive aspects that trigger the development of the country and which come from the EU will be missing, such as the rule of law, the protection of the environment, the consumers' rights, the monopoly rights, the harmonization of the education system, especially the Bologna process, the digital agenda for broadband Internet, as well as the lack of access to the international stock exchanges.

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-The motto of the European Union is "United in diversity" and that suits Macedonia very well, and therefore this chance must not be missed- emphasized Stefan Peter, president of the Foreign Investors Council within the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

Vlatko Stojanovski