EC President Optimistic About Resolving Bulgarian Veto Issue on Northern Macedonia's EU Integration

EC President Optimistic About Resolving Bulgarian Veto Issue on Northern

EC President Charles Michel has expressed optimism over the issue of Bulgaria's veto on Northern Macedonia's EU integration. After the meeting this Thursday in Ohrid with the President of Northern Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, Michel said that this problem could be towards a solution, thus paving the way for the integration of this country and Albania.

He said a meeting between the 27 EU leaders and the leaders of the Western Balkans would be held in Brussels next week.

"I came to Northern Macedonia with a clear message: The EU is firmly on your path to EU membership. And launching membership negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible is a top priority.

We support all efforts to find mutually acceptable solutions to open bilateral issues with Bulgaria. I have personally engaged along with colleagues and other friends across the EU to help move the process forward. I hope, I sincerely hope and I am confident that very soon we will have positive developments. This would be an important signal for your country and for the whole region.

Next week I will host a meeting of the 27 EU leaders with the leaders of the Western Balkans in Brussels.

The Western Balkans is a strategic priority for the EU and this meeting in Brussels will be an opportunity to speak and coordinate at a critical moment in our history, to show our unity of purpose and to further our cooperation.

We stand by your country and the region, offering short-term and long-term support especially in dealing with the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Northern Macedonia has been a real and reliable partner.

Our meeting in Brussels will also be an opportunity to strengthen our political cooperation and coordination. I discussed with the President the proposals for a European political community. Let me be clear: this is not an alternative to enlargement, on the contrary, I am convinced that such a new process will allow us to deepen and accelerate political integration. "It will also be a boost to relations between each of the Western Balkan partners and the EU," said EC President Charles Michel.