Brussels urges North Macedonia’s authorities ‘to continue to convince’ they are committed to the country’s European future

The European Commission on Monday described the failure of the new president of North Macedonia to mention the country’s constitutional name during a ceremony swearing her into office as a “very unfortunate event”, in response to a questions. He called on the country’s newly elected authorities to continue to convince the EU that “they are committed to the European future of their country”.

European Commission spokesperson for foreign policy issues, Peter Stano, referred to statements by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the European External Action Service (EEAS) the previous day and explained that what the EU expects of North Macedonia was very clearly stated in the last progress report in the autumn.

Among others, he said, the report stressed that “existing bilateral agreements need to be implemented in good faith by all parties, including the Prespa Agreement between North Macedonia and Greece and the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighbourliness and Cooperation with Bulgaria, including its protocols. This is the expectation of the EU.”

Stano continued by saying that the statements of high-ranking EU officials, such as a joint statement by Commissioner for enlargement Oliver Varhelyi and EU High Representative Josep Borrell “are very clear that we expect and look forward to working with the newly-elected authorities of North Macedonia, with the president and the new government, on helping the country to move forward and deliver on the expectations the EU set out when it comes to the accession path of North Macedonia.” Consequently, he added, the Commission honestly thinks, expects and trusts that the new authorities will continue to deliver and will not go into speculations on what will happen if they don’t deliver.

“They have a clean start now, they have an opportunity to convince everyone in the European Union that they are committed to the European future of their country and they will do their utmost to proceed on its successful accession path,” he concluded.