During the press conference that lasted an hour and a half, the French Ambassador in Macedonia, Christian Thimonier was grilled by the journalists. The Ambassador tried to explain France’s motives for standing against the start of the negotiations of the EU with North Macedonia.

The decision was received with great disappointment by the citizens of North Macedonia and the government and the opposition parties decided the country will go for snap elections in April.

“I feel the disappointment of the citizens here and I informed Paris about it,” said Christian Thimonier during his first public appearance since his president didn’t give his approval to grant Macedonia a starting date. According to him, promises were made before the work was completely done.

“Some people gave promises, and then they let others worry whether the requirements will be met”. Now they have to bear the responsibility. The public opinion was readied for a positive decision which put pressure on the member countries. In June there were supposed to be talks about the reforms, and then, during the summer somehow the expectations were raised that the decision will be a compensation for the Prespa Agreement. There was a strange change of the perspectives – from meeting previously set tasks with geopolitical aspects. Such was the case with some of our partners in the Union. You are asking me whether there are any chances for President Macron’s stance to change. Nothing is closed and nothing was closed during his press conference” said Thimonier during the press conference.

“I have to admit that the issue of EU’s inner functioning. It is true that the ideas are not clear especially regarding EU’s future ways of operating. What does the process of enlargement mean, how it will be done. Why? In order not to find ourselves in a process to do what we have done before and only to add additional legs to the millipede that already has difficulties in the international political scene” stressed the Ambassador.

He stated that there are no guarantees whether something or anything will happen before the summit in Zagreb until when the Union will have to return to the issue with the starting date. He said that the new methodology intended for theWestern Balkans countries is underway, but he didn’t provide any details about when it will be over

Frances’ decision instigated an avalanche of reactions in Macedonia, Europe and the USA, and was called “a historical mistake”.