EC President von Der Leyen Visits Country Tuesday

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will arrive in Skopje on Tuesday, and the next day, on Wednesday, will arrive the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi. Among other things, the topic of talks with the country’s state leadership is expected to be the Bulgarian veto and open bilateral issues. Analyst Marko Trosanovski believes that Brussels’ growing interest in the region is the growing pessimism in the country that it will soon start membership negotiations. “Exactly that vacuum and lack of trust and reduced credibility of the EU in the country, is what these visits are trying to reduce. On the other hand, with the Slovenian presidency and the Western Balkans Summit, there are hopes that there can be some progress, although in my opinion there will be no spectacular unlocking of the European integration process,” says Trosanovski. Varhelyi was in Sofia last week, where he met with Foreign Minister Svetlan Stoev and President Rumen Radev, who said that Bulgaria supports the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU, but expects political will from the country to overcome the differences. Exactly because of the unchanged position of official Sofia, Trosanovski does not expect a bigger step until the local elections. “The problem is that we really do not have much room for concessions in accordance with the positions of the country. My position is that we must conduct the negotiations on a reciprocal basis and not from a position of symmetrical power, because we no longer have much to lose but our dignity and the main reason for the existence of the state. That is why I think that in the near future we will hardly have any breakthrough,” says Trosanovski. Von der Leyen, according to the announcement, will be welcomed by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, with whom they will visit the renovated MKC, and there will hold a press conference. Then, she will have a working dinner with President Stevo Pendarovski.