Bulgaria has decided to lift its veto on Northern Macedonia, the European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelvi has announced.
The recent decision paves the way for both Albania and Northern Macedonia to open European Union membership negotiations, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We thank the opposition leader Boyko Borissov for making a historic decision for Europe and for accepting the negotiations with Northern Macedonia based on the French proposal that allows the continuation of the opening of membership negotiations with Northern Macedonia,” Varhelyi pointed out in this regard through a statement published on Twitter.
In addition, Varhelvi stressed that he expected the government to make the needed proposals to Parliament in order for Europe to move forward.
The Parliament of Bulgaria has the needed votes in order to vote to lift the veto.
At the same time, Former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, urged Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov not to hide but to submit to Parliament a proposal in order to lift the veto on Northern Macedonia.
According to him, the proposal on the French presidency provided the best framework for an agreement between the two countries.
“I trust Macron and the European Commission,” Borisov pointed out.
Borisov also accused Prime Minister Petkov of lying in Brussels that Slavi Trifonov, as well as Teodora Genchovska, were stopping him from deciding to veto.
“Something is bothering him. Why is he afraid?” he asked, as reported by Albanian Daily News. In addition, Borisov stressed that today, he gave 59 votes in Parliament in order to lift the veto on Northern Macedonia.
Bulgaria, as an EU member state, in November 2019 had vetoed the start of EU membership talks in Northern Macedonia, attempting to reach an agreement on the Macedonian language and identity, which Sofia considered had “Bulgarian roots”.
Bulgaria’s veto on Macedonia had blocked the membership process for Albania as well.
Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia will attend a Brussels summit on integration with the European Union despite previously threatening to boycott it due to frustration about progress on joining the EU.
All three countries have been given the status of candidates for EU Membership; however, neither has made significant progress in recent years.
In this regard, North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski has stressed that the three countries would reaffirm the position that North Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia have a European future.
He stressed that the leaders would convey their views on EU integration at the summit on Thursday.