It’s an illusion to think that adding Bulgarians to the preamble will kick off the negotiation process

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We are not at all a financial or budgetary burden for the EU. We have always been geographically, historically, and culturally part of the EU, and we have proven to be cooperative, even leading a European foreign and security policy. If anyone thinks that the process will start the moment we include the Bulgarians in the preamble, I believe that is again an illusion, Macedonian President Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova told Kanal 5 TV Thursday evening.

Siljanovska-Davkova noted that the negotiating framework is a legal fact, but she assessed that it is possible, in good faith, to agree that Bulgaria will not use the veto for what is already prohibited by the Prespa Agreement – history, culture, heritage…

Asked whether she plans to visit Brussels for the start of negotiations, Siljanovska-Davkova said that she “has met with almost all the people currently in positions there, which gives her hope that there will be some continuity in the attitude towards enlargement.”

“The veto won’t stop with us, you can be sure of that, and then the entire enlargement process will be at risk. After all, the EU without the Western Balkans is an unfinished symphony, and we are its Achilles’ heel. What I’m saying is, it’s no coincidence that all these discussions and proposals are happening. They suggest that the veto can only be used at the beginning or at the end, or at both the beginning and the end, but not in between. Let me remind you of our proposal, that we have already had a deferred implementation of some provisions, and that this can also be agreed upon. It can be arranged in good faith that Bulgaria will not use the veto for what is prohibited by the Prespa Agreement, such as history, culture, and heritage. If anyone thinks that the process will start the moment we include the Bulgarians in the Preamble, I believe that is again an illusion. So there can be deferred implementation, there can be interpretation; we can start negotiations without Bulgaria vetoing us in order to build friendly relations. We will speed up our efforts to meet the Copenhagen criteria, and Bulgaria will show goodwill and not block us, so we will meet our goals faster. Both the changes will come into effect, and we will become friends,” said the head of state.

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