European Parliament’s Support for Start of Negotiations Intensified After War

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, addressed the MEPs members of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and received unequivocal support from them for the EU membership negotiations to start immediately, correspondent from Brussels reported. Osmani reminded the MEPs how long North Macedonia has been in the waiting room, the degree of compliance with the necessary EU reforms, but also the unwavering support of the country in the sanctions against Russia due to the attack on Ukraine. He also warned that a new postponement of the talks would not only have repercussions on the European Union’s credibility in the country and the region as a whole, but could also have repercussions on the security situation at a time when Russia is trying to intervene and influence internal affairs of the EU allies. He also reminded that Moscow had once tried to interfere in the internal affairs, during the Prespa Agreement, producing a series of false news. The Minister also shared with them the results of the latest public opinion polls in North Macedonia which clearly show a decline in enthusiasm for the EU among citizens. The Socialist MEP, Elena Yoncheva, asked the minister to reveal whether the Bulgarians in North Macedonia will be included in the Constitution and whether there is ‘strong political will’ for that. As negotiations between Skopje and Sofia are still ongoing, Osmani did not answer the question, but told Bulgarian MEPs it was time for the two countries to look to the future. Osmani also said that if the negotiations do not start in the coming weeks, the political enthusiasm will suffer, but not the European commitment of North Macedonia.