Roth: We Owe it to North Macedonia to Start the EU Membership Negotiations

German Minister for Europe Michael Roth and Macedonian Deputy PM for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov spoke about the issue of the integration of Macedonia in the EU and the Bulgarian blockade in a mutual interview for German newspaper Die Welt. “We gave a promise that by the end of our presidency with the EU we will start the membership negotiations with North Macedonia, and I feel we owe it to the country to fulfil our promise. North Macedonia achieved a lot in the past few years, managing to resolve issues with Greece and Bulgaria by concluding the Prespa Agreement and the Good-neighbourliness Agreement, and now that should be awarded properly,” Roth said. Deputy PM Dimitrov said that it is not a productive thing when politicians discuss historical matters. “The Balkan is a region rich with history, but still we fail to provide the new generations strong enough perspectives for a brighter future. The EU respects the cultural and lingual diversity, hence we cannot see how the Macedonian language or ethnic identity can be an obstacle for us to start the membership negotiations with the EU. We proceed with the negotiations with Bulgaria in order to overcome the issues between us,” Dimitrov said.