“Brussels Times”: After Athens, Skopje Now Faces Dispute with Sofia

After resolving the name issue with Greece, which has blocked the start of the country’s membership talks for years, Macedonia now faces another dispute, with its neighbour Bulgaria over language and history, the Brussels Times reported. The paper cites works by the European Commission as saying that good neighbourly relations and regional co-operation remain essential elements of the enlargement process, and that Brussels “encourages both sides to redouble their efforts to find a solution to the problems”. Referring to the recently published progress reports of the candidate countries, the publication states that in the field of judiciary and fundamental rights, the progress differs significantly compared to last year, pointing out that only Albania and Macedonia, countries “eagerly waiting to start accession negotiations” made “good progress” at the end of this year, while Serbia-Montenegro, the only country in the region that has begun negotiations, has made no progress in this area.