The Prime minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev yesterday, at the end of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brdo, Slovenia, in a statement for the media said that it is obvious that only one member of the EU – Bulgaria – objects to the start of the negotiations for accession of North Macedonia to the European Union (EU). He added that the Bulgarian demands, lately promulgated through the statements of the president of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev (Bulgaria at the moment is with an interim government appointed by Radev) are unacceptable for the citizens of North Macedonia. He pointed out that the Macedonian identity is not subject to negotiations.
“Today, at the EU-Western Balkans Summit here, in Brdo, Slovenia, we received another strong proof that only one EU member-state opposes our integration and the commencement of membership negotiations with the European Union. Unfortunately, to my personal, and I believe, to all our citizens’, disappointment, the blockage comes from our neighbour, Bulgaria.
Zaev stressed that, in spite of the messages from the president of France and the chancellor of Germany, who is at the end of her mandate, that one must look forward, Radev and Bulgaria take retrograde steps, insulting the Macedonian citizens.
“The messages from President Macron and the Chancellor Merkel are clear – for solutions, we must look to the future, not dig in the past. Regrettably, I am not convinced that President Radev understood that message. The steps and blockages undertaken by Radev, on behalf of Bulgaria, are an insult to the Macedonian citizens. The Macedonian people, despite being amicable, cannot justify the blockages. My people has given me a mandate to create solutions; they did not give me the mandate to rationalize last century’s policies. So far, no EU member-state has had any objections to our reforms,” Zaev remarked.
He pointed out that the European family should appreciate the reforms that North Macedonia is undertaking simultaneously with the efforts to settle the bilateral disputes. As soon as the new proper government is set up in Bulgaria, the negotiations will be intensified further, the Macedonian Prime minister pointed out.
“Our progress in the EU integration should primarily depend on the domestic reforms related to the achievement of the European standards, not on the bilateral issues. Therefore, we are committed to resolving the bilateral disputes that have been digged from the past, as has been proven by the Prespa Agreement and the Agreement with Bulgaria from 2017. It is no news that it is acceptable for us, in the spirit of the European good-neighbourly relations, to intensify the talks with our neighbour, Republic of Bulgaria. We say yes, we can and we must, both sides, immediately upon the elections in both Bulgaria and North Macedonia, with sincere political will to take decisive steps to resolve the open issues ,“ Zaev says in the statement for the media.
He pointed out that the Macedonian identity is non-negotiable.
“However, it is also no news that our clear and loud standing on the identity issues is that the Macedonian identity cannot be subject to negotiations,” Zaev said.
In addition to the other meetings, Zaev yesterday held talks with the Vice President of the European commission and the High Representative for foreign policy of the EU, Josep Borrell. At the meeting, the Macedonian Prime minister said that the blockage of the operational start of the accession negotiations for full membership in the EU of North Macedonia and Albania is seen across the region as a serious regression and strike to the confidence in the whole of EU,”, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia informs.