On Tuesday 17 November, European Affairs Ministers will meet to agree on the final EU position on starting accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. The process with North Macedonia, however, is once again at a roadblock, with Bulgaria’s looming veto of the agreement.

The European Green Party and its member parties in Bulgaria and North Macedonia strongly support starting the talks between the EU and North Macedonia and the acceptance of the EU’s negotiating framework without delay. The strong European orientation of the government of North Macedonia and the country’s demonstrated, laborious, and ultimately successful efforts to implement meaningful and necessary reforms to put the country on the path towards membership were recognised by EU member states in March 2020. The EU must now answer the expectations of the citizens of North Macedonia for a European future by expressing appreciation for their efforts and finally starting the accession negotiations.

The EU is built upon the diversity of its members, on the rich cultural history of the people who constitute it and on the right of every community for self-determination and self-identification. Debates between neighbouring countries should be dealt with on a bilateral basis and should not be used as negotiating tokens to block processes at the EU level.

As stated in the August 2017 Friendship Treaty between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, both parties welcome the commitment and aspiration of the Republic of North Macedonia towards its integration in the European and Euro-Atlantic structures. As such, it is high time to put these words into action.

Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the European Green Party and MEP
Maja Morachanin
, president of DOM, EGP’s member party from North Macedonia
Borislav Sandov
, co-chair of Zeleno dvizhenie, EGP’s member party from Bulgaria