Pendarovski and Macron meet in Paris

After meeting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday in Paris, North Macedonia’s President Pendarovski said that ‘open and dynamic’ talks took place, but Paris hasn’t yet provided any guarantees about a date for opening of EU negotiations. Macron is asking for more time for the EU to reform itself within.

President Pendarovski presented his arguments to Macron before hearing his. According to Pendarovski, France has submitted an informal proposal (non-paper) to the EU countries involving reform of the methodology for membership talks. The reform has been set as a precondition before Macron would give the green light for North Macedonia and Albania.

“President Macron has already launched efforts to review the methodology. France put forward a ‘non-paper’ a week ago. It is expected everything to be completed in the next month or two with commentaries from the other member states, possibly even amendments. He believes that the methodology could be passed by March at the latest,” the President said after his meeting with Macron.

“Macron told me a decision on the opening of negotiations could be made in May at the Zagreb Summit, but he refrained from giving any guarantees that it could be a positive one”, said Pendarovski.

“All options are open since Macron has clearly said that the delay came as a result of the EU needing more time. He told me ‘I’ve been always committed to EU enlargement and revision of the methodology; I know both processes can take place in parallel, it’s clear to me that now what you want is to be allowed to open negotiations’,” Pendarovski stated, noting that Macron had never mentioned any additional reforms, not even the public prosecution law, as a precondition for the opening of accession talks.