Bulgaria to set Conditions for Macedonia’s EU integration if no Deal is reached

In front of the Bulgarian Commission in charge of solving the historical issues with Macedonia, Bulgaria’s President, Rumen Radev, said that his country couldn’t be an unreserved supporter of Skopje’s Euro-integration processes if the Commission wasn’t sure that all disputed issues would be resolved by the day the EU should voice a stand on potentially giving a membership negotiations. “The progress in your work is a basic criterion for the fulfilment of the Good-Neighbourliness Treaty. The latest meeting of the Commission is creating restlessness. The pace of progress in the work of the Committee is falling behind the development of the Republic of North Macedonia’s European integration process,” he said, adding that October could be key in the Skopje-Sofia relations because the EU Council could decide to start negotiations with the eastern neighbour. As Radev pointed out, if the Commission can guarantee that all issues will be solved in one month, the Bulgarian Government can continue with the policy of unconditional support for EU membership for Macedonia. “However, if such a guarantee cannot be given, the Government should take concrete measures and assume a new position with clear criteria for protection of the Bulgarian national interest that will concern also the negotiating framework for the Republic of Macedonia. We will not let unsolved inter-neighbourly problems be brought into our European family,” the Bulgarian President noted. On the other hand, Bulgarian FM and Deputy PM Ekaterina Zaharieva, at a meeting with Mimi Kodheli, who chairs the Albanian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Policy, said Bulgaria was one of the biggest supporters of the idea for Skopje and Tirana to be given a date in October. According to her, it would a historic mistake if the two countries are decoupled and don’t start negotiations.