Irrespective of how and when the new government in Bulgaria is formed, both sides should lose no time and take concrete steps towards each other to free the way for North Macedonia’s accession negotiations with the EU to start as soon as possible. I take encouragement from the fact that parties with a pronounced nationalistic agenda have not been rewarded by Bulgarian voters, says Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg in an interview with MIA.
“I was deeply disappointed by the failure of the start of the accession negotiations with North Macedonia. Bilateral and historical issues must be separated from this. We will see how and when a new government can be formed in Bulgaria. Whenever that may happen, both sides should lose no time and take concrete steps towards each other to free the way for North Macedonia’s accession negotiations with the EU to start as soon as possible,” says FM Schallenberg on how realistic expectations are of opening the accession negotiations during Portugal’s EU Presidency.
According to him, the important thing is that a solution is found on a bilateral level between Bulgaria and North Macedonia without drawing these issues into the enlargement process, adding It is up to both countries to judge whether mediation by a third party is necessary.
“Should they come to this conclusion, Austria will always be ready to offer its good offices,” notes Schallenberg.