North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, the Foreign Affairs Minister Bujar Osmani and the Head of the Mission of the Republic of North Macedonia to the EU, Agneza Rusi – Popovska, has met today in Brussels with the European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi, informed North Macedonia’s Government Press Office.
EU Commissioner Várhelyi has greeted the Macedonian delegation with the message that his goal, as well as the European Commission’s goal, is that during the current Portuguese presidency with the EU, a negotiation framework with North Macedonia will be adopted and the first intergovernmental conference for the start of the negotiations for the country’s EU accession to take place.
During the meeting, Várhelyi has said that the EU is dedicated to the Western Balkans and that today, after two and a half years, the Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers there is a strategic debate about the Western Balkans where the unblocking of North Macedonia’s EU accession bid is a number one priority. Brussels is putting all efforts and is supporting all ideas for solutions with the goal of unblocking this process.
During the meeting with Várhelyi, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed that he appreciates the European Commission’s efforts and that he is expecting an appropriate level of interlocutors and cooperators on part of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s interim government might serve as a possibility for a quicker solution, but the Macedonian government is expecting the opposite side to be encouraged for openness, readiness, and dedication toward a solution, stressed Prime Minister Zaev.
“We are ready for talks. We believe there should be one more effort in the forthcoming period, but our colleagues from Bulgaria and the European Union should know that we will neither be discussing our identity, nor shall we be negotiating about it, and that all efforts to put it on the negotiating table will be rejected by of the Macedonian side,” stressed Prime Minister Zaev.
During the meeting in Brussels, Prime Minister Zaev and EU Commissioner Várhelyi have agreed that the nation’s identity mustn’t serve as a groung for blocking North Macedonia’s EU accession efforts, informed the North Macedonia’s Government Press Office.