In Skopje, Defence Minister Slavjanka Petrovska and her Austrian counterpart, Klaudia Tanner, held a press-conference on Monday. Their message is that the Western Balkans’ EU integration is a security matter of the highest priority. As Petrovska noted, the region needs a hope and signal that it is not forgotten and that it still represents a priority of the EU. “We are seeing that also in your visit, especially considering that Austria is a close partner of ours and supporter in the achievement of this goal,” North Macedonia’s Defence Minister noted. As Tanner pointed, the war that’s still present in Europe highlights even more how important it is to support “our friends from the Western Balkans” on their EU path and future. Regarding the bilateral defence cooperation, the two Ministers said it was at an exceptionally high level, adding that there was interest and commitment from both sides for it to continue to be developed. The same day, Minister Tanner also held a meeting with President Stevo Pendarovski. They, too, discussed Austria’s support for Skopje’s EU path and the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.