Zaev – Varhelyi in Brussels: Identity can’t be a reason for blocking EU integration

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Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani and the Head of Mission of Macedonia to the EU, Agneza Rusi-Popovska, met today in Brussels with EU Commissioner for EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.

EU Commissioner Varhelyi welcomed the Macedonian delegation with the message that his goal, as well as the goal of the European Commission during the current Portuguese EU presidency is to accept the negotiating framework for Macedonia and to hold the first intergovernmental conference to start the country’s EU accession talks.

Varhelyi added that the EU is committed to the Western Balkans and that today, after 2.5 years, a strategic debate on the Western Balkans is being held in the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, in which unblocking Macedonia’s European path is the number one priority. Brussels makes every effort and supports all ideas for solutions in order to unblock this process.

At the meeting with EU Commissioner Varhelyi, Prime Minister Zaev stressed that he highly appreciates these efforts of the European Commission and that he expects an appropriate level of interlocutors and collaborators from Bulgaria.

The caretaker government in Bulgaria may be an opportunity for a solution soon, but we expect the other side to be encouraged for openness, readiness and commitment to a solution, said Prime Minister Zaev at the meeting.

At a meeting in Brussels, Prime Minister Zaev and EU Commissioner Varhelyi agreed that identity could not be a reason for blocking Macedonia’s EU integration.