Stevo Pendarovski blamed the opposition and its “unyielding stance” on the changes needed
In the upcoming one EU Summit there will be no decision to start accession negotiations with North Macedonia, as the country has not proceeded to amend its Constitution, the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pentarovski, said today.
“The result is clear, given that we have the condition (amending the Constitution) that has been set in the European negotiating framework. We cannot fulfill it, that much is obvious. In the meantime, unfortunately, due to the intransigent attitude of the opposition, nothing has changed in this direction. And it is clear that there cannot be a positive decision for us at the December Summit,” noted Stevo Pedarovski, answering press questions.
THE Pentarovsky said this negative development is not going to destabilize North Macedonia, however, as he pointed out, it may have negative effects on international relations.
A necessary condition for the start of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia is the amendment of its Constitution, in order to include the Bulgarian minority living in the country.
Bulgaria, in the past period, has been preventing the start of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations with the EU due to open ethnic, linguistic and historical differences between the two countries, which has caused strong reactions from Skopje.
However, in the summer of 2022, the two countries reached an agreement based on one of her proposals The European Unionaccording to which Sofia will lift the veto it has placed on the start of Skopje’s accession negotiations with the EU, on the condition that North Macedonia will proceed to amend its Constitution, with the inclusion in it of the Bulgarian people who lives in the country.
This agreement provokes strong reactions from North Macedonia’s largest opposition party, the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE, which has declared in all tones that it will not consent to such an amendment to the country’s Constitution.
According to polls, 70% of the country’s citizens of Slavic origin are against this agreement and by extension against this amendment to the Constitution. On the contrary, the vast majority of citizens of Albanian ethnic origin are in favor of amending the Constitution.
Amending the Constitution of North Macedonia requires a 2/3 majority in Parliament, which the government in Skopje and the parties supporting the agreement with Bulgaria do not currently have.
According to the last population census carried out in 2021 in North Macedonia, Bulgarians make up only 0.2% of the country’s population (a total of 3,500 people), a fact which the official Sofia disputes and considers that the percentage of Bulgarians in North Macedonia it is much larger.
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