President Stevo Pendarovski addressed today the Ambassadors’ Roundtable titled “Western Balkan’s EU Accession: A Long, (N)ever-ending Story – Sustainability of the Macedonian Foreign Policy Course”, organized by the Council of Ambassadors, held at the Parliamentarians Club.
In his address, President Pendarovski pointed out that for the first time in the last 30 years there is an intensified engagement and that three special envoys of the United States, the EU and the United Kingdom have been appointed to work and contribute to the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU. President Pendarovski pointed out the open support of the new German government for the Western Balkans, and especially for the integration of North Macedonia, because, as he said, we meet all the conditions to start accession negotiations. At the same time, President Pendarovski stressed the support of France, recalling the statement of President Emanuel Macron that the Western Balkans is not just a geographical part of Europe and should not be omitted again, a rhetoric that according to President Pendarovski goes several steps forward in favor of integration.
President Pendarovski pointed out that EU enthusiasm is declining in all six Western Balkan countries.
According to President Pendarovski, at a time when Europe is being challenged by major geopolitical movements and the region is once again facing negative and retrograde trends, increased European Union engagement with the Western Balkans is needed if it is to maintain its strategic relevance.
The EU, according to the President, has no rational or strategic reason to fear the integration of all six Western Balkan countries.
Regarding the dialogue with Bulgaria, President Pendarovski said that this is a great start to this new phase in our bilateral relations and new rhetoric and new energy is felt and heard.
“But I must also make it crystal clear that this is just the beginning. It is only an initial phase in which both sides express good wishes that they would like that process to proceed further. So we are far from going deeper into the process and we are still very far from a possible positive end to that process”, President Pendarovski said.
He pointed out that it is important for every political institution in both countries to contribute to the final overcoming of this problem.
President Pendarovski announced that together with the Bulgarian President Radev they are arranging his official visit to the Republic of Bulgaria in about a month from now.
“My position, my thesis is that the two presidents in both countries must make a positive contribution to the successful completion of this process, because it is a strategic interest of both countries and I am convinced that President Radev shares my opinion”, President Pendarovski said.
The Ambassadors’ Roundtable is an annual event of the Council of Ambassadors, held under the auspices of President Pendarovski.