Bulgaria plans to voice its opposition on Tuesday (17 November) to starting European Union accession talks with neighbouring Republic of North Macedonia as the two countries have yet to settle disputes over history and language, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said.
The Greek government is determined to take all necessary initiatives to ensure that the Western Balkan region’s EU ambition will become a reality soon, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias has said.
When it fails to deliver its promises, the EU loses its credibility and shows little sense of historical responsibility towards the Balkans, Iratxe García, the chief of Social Democrats in the European Parliament, has said.
French President Emmanuel Macron's veto against the accession of North Macedonia to the EU will open the door to external influence in the Western Balkans region, according to Syriza's MEP Stelios Kouloglou.
North Macedonia's pro-Western candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, won a run-off presidential vote after a campaign dominated by divisions over a change to the country's name that was agreed to mollify Greece and open the way for EU and NATO membership.
North Macedonia goes to the polls on Sunday (5 May) in a presidential run-off vote that will be a litmus test for the pro-Western government, which has warned low turnout could invalidate the vote and trigger a general election.
The leftist Syriza government and centrist Potami have accused conservative main opposition New Democracy party (European People’s Party-EPP) of “censoring” EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber during his election campaign launch in Athens this week.
North Macedonia's pro-Western candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, and his main nationalist rival Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova emerged tied in the first round of a presidential vote on Sunfay (21 April) dominated by deep divisions over a change of the country's name under a deal with Greece.
North Macedonia holds the first round of its presidential election on Sunday (21 April), the country's first vote under a new name as it struggles with enduring economic problems, cronyism and corruption.
The North Macedonia name change deal, also known as Prespa Agreement, helped diminish Turkey’s influence in the country and simultaneously upgrade Athens’s role in the Balkan region, Greek business chief Konstantinos Michalos told EURACTIV.com in an interview.
Without the prospect of joining NATO, the North Macedonia name change deal with Greece (Prespa Agreement) would have been dead because the EU side has not been delivering on its promises, North Macedonian deputy PM and defence minister, Radmila Šekerinska, has said.
The EU has mistakenly sacrificed democracy for the sake of stability in the Balkan region, Lulzim Basha, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party of Albania, told EURACTIV.com in a telephone interview.
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In a symbolic gesture, the Greek government will most probably be the first country to ratify North Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol, as it aims to do it by 8 February, sources close to the issue told EURACTIV.com.
European Union leaders warmly welcomed the historic ratification by the Greek parliament on Friday (25 January) of the North Macedonia name change deal, the so-called Prespa Agreement, putting an end to a 27-year conflict in the Balkans.
With the North Macedonia name change deal recently reached between Athens and Skopje, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has achieved more than improving his international image, by putting pressure on his domestic opponents, writes Nikolaos Koutsimpogiorgos.
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