EU Ambassadors held talks to break the deadlock on Friday but did not manage to convince Bulgaria to move, triggering growing frustration among EU diplomats, who say it’s holding up an important EU agenda with an entirely domestic problem that would be best solved bilaterally with North Macedonia, Politico wrote on Monday.
“Bulgarian bully tactics might work to settle scores in the underworld of Sofia, but seem to be utterly displaced at EU level,” one EU diplomat told Politico.
“If Bulgaria — isolated as it is — continues with its uncompromising stance, it will lose all goodwill it might have enjoyed among follow member states.” Bulgaria’s foreign ministry insisted in its statement that the current solution “does not provide the legal guarantees sought by Bulgaria.”
The article reads that Bulgaria has informed the European Commission that “it is not able to accept the currently proposed negotiating framework” for opening enlargement talks with North Macedonia, Sofia’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. That imperils the German EU presidency’s goal of launching enlargement negotiations this year. Bulgaria and North Macedonia are locked in a dispute over history and language, with Sofia demanding Skopje recognize that the country and its language have Bulgarian roots, thus giving up on claims that there is a distinct Macedonian minority in Bulgaria.