Kovacevski: Proposals without clear protection of the Macedonian language and identity are unacceptable

The Prime Minister, Dimitar Kovacevski, at the Parliamentary session dedicated to MP’s questions emphasized the clear positions expressed in Brussels, on the strategic commitment of the Republic of NorthMacedonia to the EU, with full protection of the national interests of its citizens and the state.

"Regarding the public discussion that took place regarding certain draft ideas that the EU Presidency had about the possibility of overcoming the differences that the Republic of Bulgaria has with us - I said very clearly that for me, for the President, for the coalition partners and for Citizens are not acceptable ideas that do not make clear protection of the Macedonian language, Macedonian identity and which in the negotiations with the EU will be exclusively based on the merit system, ie not to include bilateral issues in a multilateral framework. This was very clearly said and very clearly repeated.

Thus I repeat once again to all citizens of the country that historical issues can not and should not be criteria for a negotiating framework and negotiations for North Macedonia with the EU, or with any other organization. Second, negotiations with the EU must begin with an intergovernmental conference, before constitutional amendments can be initiated in order to introduce Montenegrins, Croats, Bulgarians, and self-determined citizens who so request, to become part of the preamble of the Constitution. And third, that both the EU and Bulgaria will provide guarantees that there will be no further conditions regarding our EU accession process.

If these positions are understood, we are ready to engage in and discuss them with all of our EU partners. I also want to reiterate that like any other country that believes in the EU, we want and should proudly enter with all our differences, which will respect others in relation to us, just as we respect all other differences and with all respect to their own and others' linguistic and historical differences. "Nothing more, nothing less," said Prime Minister Kovacevski.

He pointed out that the Republic of North Macedonia has harmonized 45 percent of the legislation with the European legislation, and that it is an example of coexistence in the country, as an case in point of successful regional cooperation.

"Here I would like to emphasize the Open Balkans initiative, which is not a substitute for EU membership, but is a practical implementation of the four freedoms: for the free movement of people, capital, goods and services.

It is good that the EU supports it, it is good that the US supports it. There are no more tensions with the Open Balkans, no talks about the past, but only about the future.

We are a NATO member country and a country that has fully aligned its foreign policy with EU policy. "We are Europe and our place is in Europe and one day we will proudly become an EU member with our heads held high," said Prime Minister Kovacevski at a parliamentary questions session in the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia.