Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani doesn’t think that resolving the dispute with Bulgaria is set as an EU requirement to start accession talks. According to him, European Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi’s insisting that the dispute is swiftly resolved is due to the fact that all European Union decisions are made by consensus, and the process of negotiations cannot start until Bulgaria gives its consent.
“Enlargement policies in the European Council are taken by consensus. If one of the 27 member states doesn’t give its consent, the process cannot move forward. Hence, until the Republic of Bulgaria gives its consent to the adoption of the negotiating framework and holding the intergovernmental conference, there’s no consensus and the process cannot move forward. The way I see it, the issue with Bulgaria is raised in such context, and not as an EU requirement, because 26 member states in the recent months were in favor of the text of the negotiating framework and opening negotiations in December, with the Republic of Bulgaria being the only country against,” Osmani told reporters on Monday.
He added that for the time being there aren’t any new developments regarding the talks with Bulgaria. Our focus is currently on issues from the Treaty with Bulgaria over which we have fewer differences, because it’s clear that politics in Sofia is now focused on their internal affairs and the elections that will be held soon, Osmani pointed out.
At the Tirana Economic Forum on Friday, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said the country has maintained a steady pace in the implementation of EU reforms, in particular in the area of the fundamentals, but it is important that mutually acceptable solutions are found to pending bilateral issues between North Macedonia and Bulgaria swiftly.