Pendarovski: EU’s key issue is decision-making with consensus  

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President Stevo Pendarovski voiced skepticism about the chances of North Macedonia being approved today to open accession negotiations with the European Union.

At Tuesday’s panel titled “30 Years of Independence and the Euro-Atlantic Perspectives of the Republic of North Macedonia”, organized by NGO Europrospera, Pendarovski talked about the failure of the enlargement process, the principle of consensus as the reason for blockades in the EU and the obstacles in making prompt decisions.

“The key issue of the EU is the decision-making with consensus. If it remains unchanged, the bloc cannot be key geopolitical player. It also contributes to rise in Euroscepticism in the Western Balkan region, including North Macedonia, but also in the EU itself, which is devastating,” Pendarovski’s office said citing the President.

In his address, Pendarovski also referred to the relations with the neighbor Bulgaria and Sofia’s blockade affecting the Macedonian EU integration process.

He reiterated that “we don’t need the EU if the price we have to pay to join the EU is to lose our identity.”

“Sofia has clearly pointed out that without an assembly and a political government the country cannot give the green light. We’ve offered everything we could as a gesture of good will without getting out of the frameworks of the negotiations about key aspects of the bilateral dispute with Sofia. We cannot get into the identity complex and if anyone is expecting that we will after July and August, they are mistaken,” President Pendarovski stressed.

It remains to be seen, he added, Bulgaria after forming a new government to say how to get out of this situation they themselves have created.

Speaking at the event, President called the Portuguese proposal on settling the dispute with Bulgaria ‘excellent’.

“Seeing that the EU enlargement has been frozen, we have two options – either to bring Europe at home or to bring back to life the strategic partnership agreement with the United States signed in 2008. It doesn’t mean we have to terminate our EU integration bid, on the contrary. But we have to seek alternatives if the dispute with Bulgaria goes on,” President Pendarovski said.

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