EU Council President Donald Tusk has alluded to the possibility that accession talks with North Macedonia could be delayed after meeting with the country’s president Stevo Pendarovski.

The European Green Party reacted to the news and underlined its commitment to the accession process of the Western Balkan state.

“We European Greens urgently call upon all EU member states to help opening accession proceedings with North Macedonia. Blocking this important decision now would mean committing a mistake of historical dimensions. It would entail extremely negative consequences for European security, for stability in the Balkans and for the credibility of the EU on the international stage. It would also amount to a terrible betrayal of the people of North Macedonia,” said the European Green Party co-chair Reinhard Bütikofer.

“Through its actions over the last two years, the government of North Macedonia has demonstrated clearly its trust in European democracy, its willingness to open the door towards accession proceedings and its capability of delivering on promises it made to the EU. This policy has been vindicated by North Macedonia’s parliament and supported by the people of the country. North Macedonia together with its neighbour, Greece, demonstrated in the process that nationalistic blockades can be overcome and it injected new hope into the longstanding promise for an eventual integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union. Obviously, this road will not be travelled in an instant. It will take time and effort and without full implementation of the Copenhagen criteria, accession would remain impossible.  But North Macedonia has earned through its actions, the right to finally start moving ahead towards a full inclusion in the European family of nations,” added Bütikofer.

“Member states’ governments should refrain from pandering to domestic sentiments and show at least half as much courage as North Macedonia’s citizens have already shown and agree to the opening of accession proceedings,” the Green co-Chair concluded.