No date for the start of negotiations with the EU, Macedonia without a negotiating framework


The EU’s European Affairs Ministers discussed on Tuesday the adoption of the negotiating frameworks of North Macedonia and Albania, but according to EU diplomatic sources, Bulgaria refused to change its position, MIA reports from Brussels.

The discussion, diplomats say, was heated, especially regarding North Macedonia and the Bulgarian blockade. According to them, Germany in particular expressed strong support for the start of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations.

Bulgaria, however, refused to budge despite warnings by other EU members that by blocking enlargement, the “EU is shooting itself in the foot.”

Sofia was once again warned that the credibility of the entire European Union is at stake. Many member states criticized Bulgaria’s position, EU diplomats say.

Bulgaria’s representative noted that the “EU can’t grasp the extent of the dispute” between Skopje and Sofia, adding that it’s an European issue. Moreover, he said that Bulgaria finds itself in a “difficult position” due to upcoming election, set to take place in July.

Nonetheless, the country can’t guarantee that a political government will remove the veto, European diplomats underline.

The majority of EU members are against the decoupling of North Macedonia and Albania. Diplomats say that this is an unlikely scenario, “unless things change by the end of the day.”

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