The issue of EU enlargement is decided by consensus. One of the highlights of the upcoming EU summit on Thursday and Friday (June 24-25) will be an attempt to overcome Bulgaria’s continued veto power at the beginning of the accession negotiations of North Macedonia.
North Macedonia or FYROM two years ago has been blocked by Greece from entering the European Union for many years. To many people’s surprise, the role of the veto holder was recently replaced by another Balkan neighbor, Bulgaria.
We have analyzed the reasons for Bulgaria’s veto. But has there been any new changes since then that can overcome the veto power?
Our educated guess is that the upcoming summit will not be able to break the deadlock. However, if Bulgaria can better explain its veto power to its EU partners and the world, this already means some progress has been made.
It is quite possible: the country is no longer represented by the notorious foreign language illiterate Boyko Borissov. Borisov is now in the opposition. The representative of this country is his mortal enemy, President Rumen Radoff, a former military pilot who is fluent in English.
Before the early elections on July 11, Radev appointed a caretaker government, which was digging deep into the skeletons in Borisov’s closet.
In addition, Radev made an important gesture of favor to Skopje:
He took the President of North Macedonia aboard his plane and went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome for a traditional annual tribute, where in the 9th century Pope Adrian II blessed the holy brothers Cyril and Meddiu The alphabet and books written by Chris. (Until now, Skopje and Sofia have paid their respects respectively.)
On Thursday, he held talks and a dinner with the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zayev in Sofia.
The two have plenty of opportunities to talk to each other, but the biggest problem is whether they understand each other.
Sofia told Skopje that these issues need to be resolved bilaterally. Skopje still has a lot to do. Technically speaking, the caretaker government cannot overturn the Bulgarian parliament’s decision by an absolute majority on October 10, 2019. The legal basis of rights. Bulgaria now has no parliament until the election.
Skopje hopes to find a solution as soon as possible and is working hard to mobilize the support of the European Union. This angered Sophia, who believed that Skopje should be aware that the road map to cancel the veto would take time.
Sadly, the ongoing confrontation has provided fuel for those in the former Yugoslav Republic, who have been touting an anti-Bulgarian agenda since Tito’s time to further provoke neighboring EU member states. These forces are actually anti-EU and anti-Western, and they are bidding for similar political circles in Serbia.
It is in the interests of the people of North Macedonia to embark on the path of joining the European Union, and it is also in the interests of Bulgaria to allow its western neighbors, North Macedonia and Serbia to join the club. This is what really matters.
Existing barriers must be removed, because it is in the interest of everyone, except for a few with a hostile geopolitical agenda. The solution will take some time, hopefully months, not years. But there is still a lot of work to be done.
News from Martens Center: EIF 2021 is coming soon!
The flagship event of the Martens Center will return from June 29th to 30th as the European Thought Forum, with a broader scope to meet some of the most pressing EU challenges! stay tuned!
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Views are author’s
[Edited by Josie Le Blond]