• 2007-03-21
  • by Nenad Kolev
As of recently Macedonia has chosen Estonia as the place for its first diplomatic representation in the Baltic region. The decision is a matter of having both friendly and developed relations with a country which offers much and from which we as a nation can learn a lot. The Estonians are sincerely keen on helping countries going through difficult transitional periods and show a genuine interest in the Balkans in general and Macedonia in particular. Estonia is willing to share its significant experience in many spheres of our interest.

Securing the continuation of Estonia's support for Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic integration is the core of my assignment. Estonia is one of the staunchest supporters of the EU and NATO open door policy. This support is not carte blanche, but conditional upon our performance. As a country that was part of the last EU enlargement, Estonians know well how the prospect of EU entry is a catalyst for undertaking necessary reforms. Fifty years after the signing of the Rome Treaty Estonia feels the new round of enlargement is "morally inevitable." By being actively engaged on the EU fringes in the promotion of democracy based on common values and market economy Estonia has indeed taken upon itself the role of a "spiritual leader" in strengthening the EU and NATO.

The second priority is the further improvement of bilateral relations, especially economic ties. Not many are aware that the Macedonian economic reforms have taken Estonia as a model. My country can only profit from cooperating with this open, stable and rapidly developing economy with its 10 years of continuous growth. Macedonia wants to emulate the Estonian path to economic success: a balanced state budget, liberal trade and investment laws, a liberal taxation system, and a huge inflow of FDI along with a predictable economic environment, legal security and unbureaucratic state.

Thirdly, there is the need to cut and paste Estonia's success story in the IT sector. Apart from simplifying life, this also helps streamline and further professionalize public administration and make it more open, transparent, accessible, and accountable.
Finally, we attach great importance to borrowing certain elements from the Baltic cooperation and applying them in our region. Last but not least, level-headedness, good judgment and hard work are appreciated in the three Baltic countries 's we could also learn something from them.

Nenad Kolev, Charge d'Affaires A.I.
Diplomatic Mission of the Republic of Macendonia in Tallinn

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