With 16 seconds of silence for the 16 years spent as a candidate country for EU membership, Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov began his speech before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he addressed as a special guest at the autumn session. “I have not forgotten my thought, these were 16 seconds, which seemed long, so you can see how long the 16 years seem for my country, which has been a candidate for membership since 2005. North Macedonia has shown commitment to achieving fundamental changes for European governance at home, but also maturity and determination of a true European partner, which understands the different positions and turns them into acceptable solutions, because we share this vision of European unification. Who I am and what language I speak are not questions that anyone else can be allowed to answer. That is my personal question. In a democracy, your country can not tell you how you feel, let alone another country or organization,” said Dimitrov. He further said, the compromises made by North Macedonia mean taking the right place in history, but trampling on the right of self-determination in no case can be part of a compromise, because it is contrary to the European idea.