Bujar Osmani was born on 11 September 1979 in Skopje, the Republic of Macedonia. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, in Skopje, in 2004. He completed part of his residency in London, the United Kingdom in 2006/2007, officially becoming a specialist medical surgeon in 2012. In 2014, Mr Osmani started following PhD studies at the Skopje Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Doctoral Studies School, wherefrom he graduated, acquiring a PhD degree in July 2018.
Mr Osmani started his professional practice as a doctor of medicine in 2004, at the St. Naum of Ohrid Surgical Diseases University Clinic in Skopje. In 2008, he was appointed Minister of Health of the Republic of Macedonia, remaining in office until 2011. As of 2011, he worked as a Specialist Medical Surgeon at the Digestive Surgery University Clinic in Skopje. In 2011, he was also appointed as the Public Relations Secretary of the leadership of the Democratic Union for Integration political party.
In June 2017, Mr Osmani was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs. Over the course of his term in this office, the Republic of North Macedonia made serious progress in its European integration, such as moving into the second stage of the Stabilisation and Association Process with the European Union, then becoming a member state of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative, while the key importance achievement was the decision that the Republic of North Macedonia starts accession negotiations with the European Union.
As the head of the Secretariat for European Affairs, Mr Osmani simultaneously discharged the duties of a National Coordinator for the Distribution of Foreign Assistance and IPA Funds in the country. Under his leadership, the absorption of IPA funds allocated by the European Union saw a significant improvement, with cooperation in the bilateral assistance setting also becoming considerably advanced.
In July 2018, Mr Osmani was appointed Head of the National Delegation and Chief Negotiator with the European Union, under whose leadership the process of explanatory screening with the European Union successfully started, was carried out and completed.
Mr Osmani is a standing member of the Government Crisis Headquarters dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, while in the first half of 2020, Mr Osmani discharged the duties of Chief Coordinator of Local Crisis Headquarters and the Crisis Headquarters for the City of Skopje.
On 30 August 2020, Bujar Osmani was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Mr Osmani is married and a father of two children. He is fluent in Albanian (mother tongue), Macedonian, English, and partially French.
What are the regional and geopolitical consequences of the EU and the Western Balkan countries losing commitment to one another? Are the tools at the EU’s disposal sufficient for reverting external influence in the region amidst the enlargement fatigue, and for improving the post-COVID-19 recovery? Is there a way for the EU to show that ‘phasing in’ to EU programmes is a long-term endeavour that will foster pro-EU orientation of WB6?
The devastating impact of the pandemic once again laid bare the economic, social and political concerns in the Western Balkans. Primarily China and Russia have recently been engaged in the region while the EU has been consistently aiming at cementing its presence in the Western Balkans by going beyond what other actors have provided. The EU, however, has not been a leading force in buttressing the continuous transformation in the region. While some perceive the EU as a panacea, others might turn to other non-EU alternatives. Therefore, today, Europe needs to address these developments in its own backyard more than ever before.