Zaev remains optimistic about getting a date to start EU negotiations

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev remains optimistic about the country getting a date to start EU negotiations. According to him, the issue will be handed over to the EU leaders to decide. Whatever the outcome, there won’t be early elections, said Zaev.

“French President Emmanuel Macron will like to elaborate the new methodology. It doesn’t involve us, the hopefuls, it’s about a reform of the EU that has to do with us, the countries wanting to join. I believe the decision will be made by the European Council, by the leaders of the EU countries,” Zaev said answering a journalist question at a news conference Tuesday.

It matters to us, Zaev said, to be given a clear decision for start of negotiations.

“We have an understanding about the new methodology of the negotiations, allowing the countries with solid performances to move faster in the process, while those showing poor performances to be told to start all over.”

“But, no other country in the past 20 has done so much to get this decision. We’ve done a lot to implement reforms, at international and bilateral level. From every point of view, we are truly an example for Europe and for the world, as well. I believe the EU through the European Council will do what it is supposed to do,” said PM Zaev.

He said he would travel to Brussels in Oct. 17, on the first day of the European Council, where he would meet with EU leaders for talks before they made the final decision.

Asked about the prospect of early elections if the country didn’t get a date, Zaev said: “Predictability shouldn’t be jeopardized with elections that are not regular.”

The country has no alternative to EU and NATO integration, according to Zaev.

“We stick to the only alternative there is, which is integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Politicians come and go, while the predictability that benefits businesses should be left intact until we finish the term,” said the prime minister.