North Macedonia’s President Stevo Pendarovski received guarantees from French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that the new negotiating methodology would be adopted by March at the latest, whereas subsequent developments depended on political decisions.
“I am a moderate optimist, not a radical one. We did not get a 100-percent guarantee from President Macron that the Zagreb summit would produce a positive decision. The guarantee we got was that the methodology would be adopted as soon as possible, by March at the latest. So we can be certain in this part. Further developments depend on political decisions,” said President Pendarovski.
Pendarovski said it is possible that in an organization with more members such as the EU there could be individual requirements, especially considering the period of six months leading up to the European Council summit in May.
“I hope the situation will resemble the current one, when there are no additional requirements. Europe, as Macron said it himself, asked for some time to streamline the methodology for admission of new members, not saying there are additional conditions for us. Therefore, we will wait and see how fast can the EU restructure on the inside regarding this very important issue,” said Pendarovski.
Concerning the issue of separating North Macedonia and Albania, Macron asked Pendarovski if this option would produce consequences.
“I told him that all relevant politicians and political parties of ethnic Albanians in North Macedonia, including those in the highest Government positions, have said it is not their wish for this to happen, but North Macedonia should not be punished or put in the same position, because the entire process is merit-based,” said Pendarovski.