Parliament Supports Start of EU Accession Negotiations with North Macedonia, Albania under Certain Conditions

Parliament Supports Start of EU Accession Negotiations with North Macedonia, Albania under Certain Conditions

October 10 (BTA) - Parliament supported here on Thursday the start of EU accession talks with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania with 129 votes in favour, four against and one abstention, given that certain conditions are met. The MPs adopted a declaration in connection with the EU enlargement and North Macedonia's and Albania's Stabilisation and Association Process.

Thus, the Bulgarian National Assembly backed the framework position adopted by Cabinet the previous day (Wednesday).

Parliament's declaration urges the official representatives of the Republic of North Macedonia to implement effectively, without delay and in good faith the Treaty of Friendship, Goodneighbourliness and Cooperation, signed between Bulgaria and North Macedonia in 2017.

The Bulgarian Parliament also asks the authorities in Albania to guarantee to the fullest extent the right of the Bulgarian national minority there to study, without any administrative obstacles, the standard Bulgarian language as a mother tongue in the regions traditionally populated by ethnic Bulgarians.

The National Assembly urges the incumbents, every future government and all the Bulgarian institutions to monitor strictly whether the conditions in the declaration are met during the negotiation process with North Macedonia and Albania.

The editorial change, proposed by National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria leader Valeri Simeonov, which would oblige the governments instead of urging them, was not adopted by Parliament.

Parliament's document notes the key importance of goodneighbourly relations with North Macedonia and Albania, recalling the conditional support for the two countries' European and Euroatlantic integration during the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency in 2018.

Parliament supports the simultaneous start of North Macedonia's and Albania's pre-accession talks with the EU about meeting the Copenhagen Criteria and conditionalities of the Stabilisation and Association Process, including goodneighbourly relations.

Parliament categorically opposes the possible European legitimation of an ideology of the past bearing markedly anti-Bulgarian characteristics, suppressing the rights of Bulgarian citizens and those with a Bulgarian consciousness, and contradicting modern European values.

Meanwhile, Parliament states that its European integration support will not be at the expense of distorting historical events, documents, artifacts, as well as the role and views of Bulgarian historical figures.

Source: Sofia