Pendarovski: It Is Good EU Focuses on Western Balkans Again

“It is good that the European Union is trying to refocus on the Western Balkans and keep our issue in mind,” said President Stevo Pendarovski in an interview regarding the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Brdo near Kranj in Slovenia. Pendarovski commented on whether and how important such initiatives are in overcoming the Bulgarian blockade and paving the way for the first intergovernmental conference. “In this case it is not about a special initiative, it is about a regular meeting of the Western Balkan countries with the member states of the European Union, which has been a practice for years. However, what you mention in your question is about several initiatives, within that Summit, so to speak, from countries friendly to the Western Balkans, not only North Macedonia, who are trying to somehow create an environment in which they can make a breakthrough in relation to this well-known dispute, due to which Bulgaria is blocking us from starting negotiations. What I know so far, although the Summit is still ongoing, there are already such initiatives, there are several meetings held on that topic, between influential European Union member states and our representatives there. I do not know the outcome, we will have to wait until the end of the Summit. However, it is good that the European Union is trying to refocus on the Western Balkans and at the same time keep our issue in focus. Objectively, you know that we fulfilled all the conditions a long time ago, this came like a bolt from the blue, the blockade from Bulgaria, which practically gave the green light to last year, the March Council of the European Union and later began to set these additional conditions,” Pendarovski said.