The world we live in is defined by the interplay of complex and perilous events of diverse origins inducing long-term and, not always, predictable consequences. The unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression waged by Russia against Ukraine was another trigger provoking strategic and geopolitical competition and instability that have become features of our contemporary security environment and its multifaceted nature.

This, 2023 year is of particular importance for North Macedonia for several reasons. We will mark the fifth anniversary since the signing of the Prespa Agreement between North Macedonia and Greece. This Agreement, in synergy with the Ohrid Framework Agreement and the Friendship Agreement with Bulgaria, represents a unique and lasting contribution to the peace, stability and advancement of good neighborliness in Southeast Europe and has inspired the foundation of the Prespa Forum Dialogue (PFD) as a platform to search and exchange ideas and to seek diplomatic solutions on today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. We have assumed the helm of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with profound sense of responsibility and ultimate determination to fully engage in safeguarding OSCE principles and commitments. With the same determination, we have assumed the Chairmanship with the US–Adriatic Charter (A5) and from June we will assume the Chairmanship the South-East European Cooperation Process.

The third edition of the PFD titled “Widened European family by 2030: mission (im) possible?” will be an excellent opportunity to engaging in open and constructive dialogue, exchanging ideas and perspectives, and building partnerships that will help secure the region’s future within the European and Euro-Atlantic context. The discussions will be focused on the EU enlargement process with a final goal – completing Europe as resilient and strategic actor on the global arena, pressing regional and European political-security challenges, democracy and stability, the perspectives of genuine regional cooperation, foreign malign influences, international restrictive measures, corruption, illegal migration, digitalization and artificial intelligence etc.

The Russian aggression in Ukraine reminded us of the importance of a united and democratic Europe, committed to protecting its values and interests. An integral part of the European family is the Balkans that strives to become a full-fledged part of the European Union by 2030. Therefore, for the Balkans it is essential to advance and uphold the value of democracy and to accelerate the result-oriented reforms, while for the EU to exercise its geopolitical approach towards the Balkans.

United in diversity, let’s move processes forward so we can all rise onward.