In a joint statement, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn congratulated the Prime Ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras for their determination and leadership in reaching a historic agreement on the name dispute, and said that it is a great day for Europe.
Mogherini and Hahn said that the achievement belongs to the leaders of countries, their teams, but first and foremost, it belongs to all the citizens of both countries and of Europe as a whole.
“Together, we must now make good use of the window of opportunity that has been pushed wide open to accompany and consolidate the winds of peace and cooperation in the entire region. The European Union perspective of the Western Balkans, reaffirmed recently at the Sofia Summit, remains the most powerful stabilising force for the region, and we have an interest and responsibility to make good use of it. It was also a crucial incentive for this agreement, in the spirit of good neighbourly cooperation. We now look forward to the Council endorsing our recommendation of 17 April to open accession negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in June. The European Union encouraged and supported the negotiations from their very beginning. We will now accompany the next steps with all our means in the same spirit of dialogue for our common European future”, reads the joint statement.
Congrats & thanks to @atsipras & @Zoran_Zaev for their determination & leadership. A historic agreement that proves power of diplomacy, dialogue, respect. #EU supported negotiations & will accompany next steps. It’s a good day for Europe. #NorthMacedoniahttps://t.co/3XRExcdbMH
— Federica Mogherini (@FedericaMog) 12 June 2018
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, expressed his sincere congratulations to the two prime ministers on his twitter profile, saying that the two had made the impossible, possible. He shared the same message in English, Macedonian and Greek.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) 12 June 2018
Special rapporteur for Macedonia in European Parliament, Ivo Vajgl, said that it is now crucial that the agreement is supported by the vast majority of political parties and the people of both countries. “With an agreement over the name, the door is now open for Macedonia (the Republic of Northern Macedonia) to receive full membership in the EU and NATO. EU and NATO members should welcome the deal as an opportunity to continue the enlargement process to all the countries of Southeast Europe”, said Vajgl.