Croatia voiced support for North Macedonia’s EU accession and expects the first intergovernmental conference to take place by year’s end. In the meantime, messages are sent from Skopje in hope that Bulgaria will continue supporting North Macedonia in its European integration, and the EU will show it is a community of values and principles.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told a meeting with Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani in Zagreb on Tuesday that Croatia strongly supports North Macedonia’s EU accession and expects the intergovernmental conference and the opening of negotiations to take place by the end of the year.
“Croatia strongly supports North Macedonia as a candidate country and expects that an intergovernmental conference will be scheduled for the purpose of opening accession negotiations by the end of this year, during Germany’s EU Presidency,” said Plenković.
Zagreb’s support to North Macedonia’s EU integration bid was also affirmed at a meeting between FM Osmani and his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić-Radman, concluding that the continuation of EU’s enlargement policy sends a positive signal to the whole region.
Slovenia too, where Osmani paid a visit on Monday, voiced strong support for North Macedonia’s EU integration bid and the intergovernmental conference taking place by the end of the year.
In the meantime, in Skopje, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev expressed his belief that Bulgaria would continue supporting North Macedonia in its European integration.
Bulgaria, together with other EU member states, should decide to open the first intergovernmental conference in December, Zaev said.
The PM pointed out Bulgaria is not demanding that North Macedonia makes changes to the Constitution and it is up to the intergovernmental committees to find solutions to the outstanding issues.
“We already have a treaty: the Treaty of Friendship and Good-Neighborliness with Bulgaria,” PM Zaev said, noting it was written in both Macedonian and Bulgarian.
He added that he expects progress, and an expression of enormous friendship from Sofia.