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President Rumen Radev, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Varhelyi Discuss Prospects for EU Enlargement Process

EU enlargement should be based on clear principles, taking into account each country’s own merits in the integration process. Compliance with this principle is a guarantee for preserving stability and security in Europe, President Rumen Radev said here on Monday at a meeting with European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varhelyi , who is on a working visit to Bulgaria, Radev’s Press Secretariat reported. The European integration of the Western Balkans has no alternative and the progress of the countries in the region should not fall out of the focus of the European institutions, Radev said.

The Head of State expressed gratitude for the fruitful dialogue and the efforts made by Commissioner Varhelyi to develop the process of European integration. Radev and the EU Commissioner also discussed the prospects for the enlargement process, both in the Western Balkans and in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Noting the differences in the geopolitical context in which the individual candidate countries find themselves, the two stressed that each country’s accession to the EU is based on its own merits, based on the fulfillment of clear and unambiguous criteria and conditions that are well known to all countries.

President Radev expressed his expectation that after the election campaign in the Republic of North Macedonia is over and elections are held, the political situation there will enable the full implementation of the European decision of July 2022, which is an integral element of Skopje’s path towards the EU. “Statements by leading political figures in the Republic of North Macedonia, made during the campaign with a provocative nature, do not help strengthen the dialogue between our two countries,” the Bulgarian Head of State said. Radev added that good-neighbourliness is a key aspect in the enlargement process and underlined Bulgaria’s readiness, despite the negative messages from Skopje, to renew efforts for constructive bilateral cooperation.

President Radev and Commissioner Varhelyi also discussed options for future EU reform, including changes to the decision-making mechanisms in the EU Council. The Bulgarian head of State said that Bulgaria strongly supports maintaining the principle of unanimity when it comes to EU enlargement.