At a press conference today, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, said that Macedonia deservedly received a clear recommendation for the start of negotiations with the EU.

“In ten months, we have made great progress in the European integration process. The reforms in many key areas, as well as the policies of friendship and good-neighborliness, are valued. We closed the dispute with Bulgaria, and we are on our way to close the dispute with Greece. The EU gave a well-deserved clean recommendation for the start of negotiations with the European Union. The recommendation for several years was conditioned by a deep political crisis and a backlash with the reforms”, Zaev said.

He reiterated that the Government will continue to fulfill the reform processes in the country and expressed hope that Macedonia will receive a date for the start of negotiations in June.

EU High Representative Mogherini said Macedonia was back on the path towards the EU and called on all those involved to work together.

“I bear the good news that the EC recommended the start of negotiations for membership. You have returned to a good path. You can celebrate and then return to the work at hand. This result was achieved by the Government and the opposition, and they need to continue the next steps together and take responsibility for it”, said Mogherini.

Regarding the name dispute and the statements made by Greece that a solution can not be reached by June, Mogherini says that the time ahead of Macedonia should be used positively and courageously and can not predict what would have happened before then.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that if a solution is reached in May, there will be time for everything, and added that now is a good time to resolve the dispute with Greece.