Commissioners Avramopoulos and Jourová in Skopje next week for EU-Western Balkans ministerial forum on Justice and Home Affairs

On 18 and 19 November, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová will participate in the EU-Western Balkans ministerial forum on Justice and Home Affairs in Skopje, North Macedonia. On Monday, Commissioner Jourová will attend the meeting to discuss the rule of law and judicial reforms, prison conditions and use of alternative sanctions as well as cooperation with EU agencies, entities and programmes, and the importance of implementing the recommendations of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. The discussions will be followed by a press conference at 17:00 CET, in presence of the Finnish Minister of Justice, Ms Anna-Maja Henriksson and her counterpart of North Macedonia, Ms Renata Deskoska. The press conference can be followed on EbS. Finally, Commissioner Jourová will hold a debate with students from the Faculty of Law at the University of Skopje. On Tuesday morning, Commissioner Avramopoulos will join Home Affairs Ministers to discuss cooperation on migration and border management, including between the European Border and Coast Guard and Western Balkan partners. Participants will also discuss the fight against terrorism as well as the prevention and countering of violent extremism, including the implementation of the EU-Western Balkans Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism. Participants will then turn to the issue of organised crime, addressing notably the fight against human trafficking, migrant smuggling and the smuggling of drugs and weapons. In the margins of the meeting, Commissioner Avramopoulos will sign two arrangements implementing the EU-Western Balkans Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. A press conference with Commissioner Avramopoulos, the Finnish Minister of the Interior, Ms Maria Ohisalo and Minister of Interior of North Macedonia, Mr Oliver Spasovski will take place at 13:00 CET and can be followed on EbS. During their stay in Skopje and in the margins of the Ministerial meeting, Commissioners Avramopoulos and Jourová will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Mr Zoran Zaev and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Nikola Dimitrov. Commissioner Jourová will also meet the Minister of Justice, Ms Renata Deskoska while Commissioner Avramopoulos the Minister of Interior, Mr Oliver Spasovski.