Ljubljana/Skopje – President Borut Pahor talked over the phone on Wednesday with his Macedonian counterpart Stevo Pendarovski about the start of EU accession talks for North Macedonia. Pahor said this was an achievement of prudent Macedonian policy and Pendarovski thanked him for Slovenia’s support to the country’s efforts to join the EU.
The EU started accession negotiations with North Macedonia on Tuesday after the Macedonian parliament passed a French-brokered deal to end a dispute with Bulgaria, which had blocked the talks. On Monday, other member states endorsed the framework of the talks, determining how North Macedonia will transpose EU legislation into its national legislation.
The Slovenian president congratulated Pendarovski for his country’s progress on the path to the EU. He stressed this was an important signal for the entire region, as it strengthened trust in the European perspective of the Western Balkans.
Pendarovski thanked Pahor for Slovenia’s support, adding he was looking forward to the upcoming meeting of leaders from the Brdo-Brijuni regional cooperation initiative to be held on 12 September in Brdo pri Kranju, Pahor’s office said.
North Macedonia has been a candidate for EU membership since 2005. First its bid was blocked by Greece, which demanded that the country change its name and then Bulgaria blocked the talks over issues concerning the Bulgarian minority in the country. North Macedonia has now agreed to include the minority in its constitution and change history text books.
Along with North Macedonia, Albania too started accession talks yesterday.