Zaharieva: Guarantees Must be Included in Membership Negotiation Framework

Bulgarian Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said during an address at the Bulgarian Parliament that Macedonia must overcome a great number of stereotypes in order to start its journey towards EU-integration. “Good-neighbourliness must become part of the EU membership negotiation framework, for that would be the strongest guarantee for Bulgaria that the Good-neighbourliness will be fully and properly implemented. Official Skopje should act more with pragmatism and less with emotions. Bulgarian people have friendly sentiments towards our Eastern neighbours, despite the disgusting campaign of hate speech that is taking place there. We really do not want to block North Macedonia, but if no guarantees are included in the negotiation framework for EU membership, then it would be impossible for us to approve it. We want North Macedonia to recognise the historical truth of the mutual history which is to bring us together, not drift us apart. People being subjected to hatred and judgment in North Macedonia if they claim a specific historical figure is Bulgarian is not in the spirit of European values,” Zaharieva said.