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Bulgaria Pledges No New Conditions for North Macedonia’s EU Path

Bulgaria has provided assurances to the US special envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, that it will not introduce fresh conditions for the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia into the European Union (EU). This diplomatic assurance comes at a crucial juncture in the ongoing efforts to facilitate North Macedonia‘s path to EU membership and follows the backdrop of discussions surrounding amendments to the country’s constitution.

Notably, one of the pivotal conditions under consideration pertains to changes in North Macedonia‘s fundamental law, focusing on the inclusion of the Bulgarian minority within its constitutional framework. This condition has a significant bearing on the country’s negotiations and the convening of the second intergovernmental conference, marking a critical juncture on the journey towards EU membership.

The diplomatic conversation has also addressed another noteworthy issue. The remarks come amidst discussions involving North Macedonian opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski’s claims regarding potential agreements on constitutional changes between the North Macedonian government and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

In his interview with Voice of America (VOA), Gabriel Escobar underscored the importance of addressing challenges associated with the rule of law and corruption in the Western Balkans. These issues are widely regarded as among the most pressing impediments to EU membership for countries in the region.

Escobar expressed a consistent commitment to encouraging governments in the Western Balkans to take more assertive measures to accelerate the implementation of vital reforms. He also stressed the need for parliamentary and governmental leaders to exhibit tangible outcomes in their efforts to combat corruption and reinforce institutions underpinning the rule of law.

Furthermore, he acknowledged that progress in the fight against corruption has been notably sluggish in some countries in the region. This acknowledgment points to the ongoing challenges faced by Western Balkan nations in their pursuit of EU membership.

A recent visit to Skopje by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen lent additional weight to the ongoing negotiations and reform efforts. Von der Leyen encouraged Macedonian politicians to honor their commitments by amending the constitution, a crucial step required to initiate negotiations for EU membership.

As the situation unfolds, all eyes are on the European Commission, which is set to unveil progress reports on the EU membership aspirations of candidate countries on Wednesday. These reports will serve as the foundation for discussions among European leaders, scheduled for their upcoming meeting in December. The direction of these deliberations will undoubtedly shape the future of EU expansion and the prospects for nations in the Western Balkans.

Source : novinite.com