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Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: We hope for EU membership talks with Macedonia as of this year and a recommendation for Albania, next chance is 2020

Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: We hope for EU membership talks with Macedonia as of this year and a recommendation for Albania, next chance is 2020

18 June 2018 | 13:20 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. We hope for a decision this year to start negotiations on Macedonia’s EU membership, as well as for a recommendation for Albania, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva told the plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union, Focus News Agency reports. She said that in view of the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament, the next real chance would be 2020. “June 25 to 30 will be a critical, extremely important week. On June 26, there will be a General Affairs Council that will examine the report on enlargement,” Ekaterina Zaharieva said, and called for support for the European aspirations of the people in the two countries. “June 26 is a very important date for the stability and security of the whole EU,” the foreign minister said. “Two new chapters are to be opened for Serbia and one for Montenegro,” she added. “Our presidency will be remembered for the words future, chance, European perspective and connectivity in the Balkans,” she said, adding that Bulgaria managed to put the European perspective of the Western Balkans high on the EU agenda.
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Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov: Yesterday was a historic day, we changed the future

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov: Yesterday was a historic day, we changed the future

18 June 2018 | 13:05 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Yesterday was a historic day. It was an investment in the future. We cannot change geography and history, but we can change the future and that’s what we did, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said at the Plenary Meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), Focus News Agency reports.
“We invested in a friendship with Greece, in a future built on understanding and mutual respect. To some extent we owe this to the support of our Bulgarian friends, the contacts and the leadership of Prime Minister Borissov and Minister Zaharieva,” said Nikola Dimitrov.
“It is not often that anyone from the Western Balkans, whether a candidate or a EU member, has the opportunity to address COSAC. I am very excited because my country is going through days and months that will remain in history,” said the foreign minister of Macedonia. “We were an island among EU member states. The migration crisis showed that the security of the region is an integral part of the common European security,” said Nikola Dimitrov.
“We experienced a political crisis, and we took it very seriously to never waste an opportunity. We need to hurry, not only for our own country’s sake but for the interests of the whole region,” he said.
“We are trying to become more attractive to Europe from an economic point of view. Three-quarters of our trade is with the EU, and three-quarters of our investments come from the EU,” said Nikola Dimitrov.

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Mihail Konstantinov, analyst: Deal on Macedonia’s name is strongly opposed both in Athens and Skopje, tough procedures lie ahead

Mihail Konstantinov, analyst: Deal on Macedonia’s name is strongly opposed both in Athens and Skopje, tough procedures lie ahead

18 June 2018 | 11:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The opposition against an accord on the name of Macedonia is very strong both in Athens and Skopje, difficult procedures lie ahead, political analyst Prof. Mihail Konstantinov told Focus Radio. “The issue is far from over. What happened yesterday and should be welcomed by Bulgaria was only the first step. Macedonia is still to make difficult steps. The first one is the approval of the accord in parliament, and I suppose it will happen because the ruling have majority. But then comes a referendum, and the Macedonians are divided. In fact, they are mostly against [the agreement]. As far as we understand, the Albanian community will support it. The clashes are upsetting but have not reached their final stage, things are still under control,” he explained. He added that Macedonians sacrificed much more for the agreement, while the only compromise on Greece's part was the acceptance of the term Macedonia into the neighbour’s name.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
 73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly. September 24, 2018;
73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly. September 24, 2018;

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Prize drawing in Q&A game European Test for Masters. July 30, 2018;
Prize drawing in Q&A game European Test for Masters. July 30, 2018;
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