Reactions following signals that there will be no EU accession negotiations date

EU leaders today are expected to make the final decision on the fate of North Macedonia and Albania. There was hope that the summit would pave the way for accession negotiations to begin, but there are mixed messages coming from Brussels to Skopje as to what will happen, whether or not a date will be set.

Reporters from several local media outlets in Brussels, citing diplomatic sources, say no date will be given for Skopje and Tirana to begin talks due to the French veto. Claiming that the decision will be postponed for spring 2020. By this time, the two countries will be given time to carry out reforms, while the EU will have to adopt the new negotiation methodology.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev admitted in a facebook speech last night that there would be no date, but he said the country would not give up on that designation. “No one can take away the reforms and changes we made together and from this ambiguity we will only emerge stronger and more experienced. We will become a NATO member which has been our strategic goal since independence. It is evident that the Balkans has changed and has become a source of stability. The EU knows this well and must accept that the Balkans are European. We remain committed and will work to prove where we are”, Zaev said.

On his part, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski stressed that the patience of the opposition is now over. He has called for popular protests against the current government. “The last confrontation begins today. From today I announce the victory of VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition “For Better Macedonia”. From today, I invite all those who think that the policies of Zoran Zaev and SDSM are wrong, to join us, regardless of ethnicity or political affiliation”, Mickoski said.

After the announcement of the conclusions of the Brussels Summit, state and political leaders in Skopje are expected to make their own assessments.

ibna