North Macedonia: Issue of accession talks to be resolved after Bulgarian elections, Zacarias says

North Macedonia: Issue of accession talks to be resolved after Bulgarian elections, Zacarias says

Portugal’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Paula Zacarias has voiced hope that Bulgaria’s July 11th parliamentary elections will resolve Bulgaria’s veto of the start of North Macedonia’s EU accession talks, which takes over the rotating EU presidency on 1 July, to help find a solution to the problem.

Zacarias told Bulgaria’s National Radio that Bulgaria’s position should be respected and that disagreements should not arise in the EU.

“This is a very difficult debate, especially for Bulgaria, it concerns the history, the cultural identity of the two countries, as well as the future cooperation. They are currently working on a roadmap that will help them co-operate, and Bulgaria will have guarantees that when North Macedonia joins the EU, things will go smoothly, Zacarias said.

According to her, Northern Macedonia went through difficult negotiations with Greece, due to which it changed its name. At the same time, the problem between Sofia and Skopje is very difficult, because it is related to the language and cultural dimension of both countries.

“New elections will be held in Bulgaria on July 11th and I think the Bulgarian authorities are waiting for the results before deciding how to act,” Zacarias said.

He said it was very important not to introduce disagreements between the two countries in the EU and that Bulgaria was being pressured to compromise.

“I do not think the time was right for a solution. Bulgaria needed more time to discuss these issues. Whether there will be elections or not, I think that negotiations with Northern Macedonia must continue, especially with regard to the roadmap, which must be clear. Both sides are trying to express their position – Bulgaria has always said it does not oppose North Macedonia joining the EU, instead it wants to be there, says Portugal’s Deputy Minister of European Affairs, whose country holds the EU presidency. in the first half of this year.

Zacarias concludes that some aspects need to be clarified and adds that more time, more attention is needed and that the debate needs to continue./ibna