Zaharieva: Bulgaria to propose opening of EU-Macedonia accession talks

The Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council will propose on Tuesday that Macedonia and Albania be invited to EU accession negotiations, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said Monday.

Four out of five EU member states support the idea to extend this invitation now, Zaharieva said, BTA reported.

“We have more work to do to convince part of the member states which are skeptical,” she noted.

Zaharieva specified that even if on Tuesday the EU Council supports the launch of the accession negotiations, this does not automatically mean these would start immediately. “There is a lot of preparation work that the experts at the European Commission have to do, such as the elaboration of a negotiating framework,” she noted.

The concerns voiced by some member states will be taken into view, according to FM Zaharieva. “If a positive decision is not made on Tuesday, the matter can be reviewed by the European Council at the end of this week,” she added.

The Bulgarian Minister said that Balkan leaders have demonstrated courage, starting with the treaty between Macedonia and Bulgaria, which has produced a positive impulse in the whole region paving the way for the name agreement between Macedonia and Greece.