Holstein: It is not in Bulgaria’s interest to block EU enlargement of region

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In an interview with Radio Free Europe, German Ambassador Anke Holstein refers to Bulgaria’s explanatory memorandum sent to EU member-states, saying that the country has presented these requests to the members at the onset of August.

“Bulgaria made these demands to other member states in early August. We, and according to my knowledge, all other members believe that bilateral problems should not be part of the negotiating framework and that bilateral problems should be solved bilaterally. Bulgaria has always been a big supporter of the region’s European approximation, including North Macedonia. It is not in Bulgaria’s interest to block EU’s enlargement process in the region,” says Holstein.

In the coming period, she adds, the country needs to focus on the rule of law, fight against corruption, judiciary reforms, swift adoption of the anti-discrimination law and the OSCE/ODIHR recommendations in the Electoral Code.

“A fundamental aspect of social life is the Census that is planned for next April, and North Macedonia needs to start to position itself for the economic challenges in the domestic economy, which is reflected in the Government programme,” notes Holstein.

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