The Government of North Macedonia revealed that it had a deal to sign with Bulgaria to end the dispute between the two countries for making its way to applying for EU membership.
The government of North Macedonia said it had backed a deal that would settle an ongoing row with Bulgaria, and which would open the door for EU membership talks.
Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski met on Friday with government coalition partners to examine a proposal coming from the French EU presidency to overcome the latest series of tensions between both countries over language, history, and the rights of ethnic Bulgarians in North Macedonia.
Kovačevski said: “The proposal is considered a solid basis for building a serious, responsible and ambitious position regarding the opportunity being opened for our country.”
According to a senior official in North Macedonia, the government can move without parliamentary approval.
The French proposal puts certain conditions for kicking off the talks, in addition, changes to constitution will be needed, with a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Therefore, the government can decide to start the membership process, including the preparation for the negotiations which it could take a year.
Hristijan Mickoski, leader of the main opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, described the French proposal as a “shame” and called for protesting against the deal.
In addition, Former Foreign Minister Nikola Dimtrov also said he was against the deal because it needed changes to the constitution.
On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron teased during a press conference after the NATO summit in Madrid that a settlement between Bulgaria and North Macedonia was recommended and asserted that he was convinced “we found a solution that suits the sensitivities of both sides.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “Welcome news that North Macedonia and Bulgaria, with support of France, are close to an agreement which takes into account interests and concerns,” after she had a phone conversation with Kovačevski.