PM Zaev and Euro-Commission Varhelyi in Brussels: Identity cannot block the European integrations

Today in Brussels the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, accompanied by the Deputy President of the Government in charge of European affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani and the Head of the Mission of North Macedonia to EU, Agneza Rusi Popovska, met the Euro-Commissioner on Neighborhood and Enlargement of EU, Oliver Varhelyi.

The Euro-Commissioner Varhelyi welcome the Macedonian delegation with a message that his objective, as well as the objective of the European Commission is, during the current Portugal presidency with EU, to accept the negotiation frame for North Macedonia and to hold the first inter-governmental conference for start of membership negotiations. 

Furthermore, Varhelyi added that EU is committed to the Western Balkans and that today, after 2 and half years, in the Council of Foreign Ministers of EU member-states a strategic debate is led for the Western Balkans. The de-blocking of the European way of North Macedonia is number one priority of this debate and Brussels invests its efforts and supports ideas for solution in order to de-block this process. 

The President of the Government, Zoran Zaev, at his meeting with Euro-Commissioner Varhelyi emphasized that he commends the European Commission for these efforts and added that he expects appropriate level of interlocutors and associates from Bulgaria. 

The technical government in Bulgaria can be an option for a solution, but we expect the other party to be encouraged for openness, readiness and commitment for a solution, underlined Prime Minister Zaev at the meeting. 

“We are ready for discussions, we believe that we should have one more effort in the forthcoming period, but the colleagues in Bulgaria and everyone in the European Union should know that we will not discuss or negotiate on our identity and that every effort to put this issue on the negotiation table, will be rejected on Macedonian part”, underlined the President of the Government of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev. 

Prime Minister Zaev and Euro-Commissioner Varhelyi at their meeting in Brussels agreed that the identity cannot be a reason for blocking North Macedonia’s European integrations.