Zaev: We Receive First Blockade from Bulgaria for EU Membership Talks

PM Zoran Zaev informed at a press conference on Friday that Macedonia officially faced the first blockade from Bulgaria concerning the start of membership negotiations with the EU. “We faced the first blockade from official Sofia at the EU COREPER meeting today. With this act, Bulgaria violated Article 2 from the Good-neighbourliness Agreement, which clearly states that Bulgaria is to support and share experiences with North Macedonia when it comes to its integration in the EU. Still, I remain optimistic that we will overcome this issue and that we can bring our positions closer together,” PM Zaev said. From the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the other hand they state that at the moment official Sofia cannot approve the negotiation framework for EU membership because official Skopje is not providing the demanded guarantees for fulfilling the conditions of Bulgaria. Official Sofia demands the condition it imposes to Macedonia to be included in the negotiation framework for Macedonia, not only the draft-declaration which a legally obliging instrument and cannot secure the guarantees demanded by Bulgaria.