site.btaNorth Macedonia PM: There Is No Need for Speculation about New Demands from Skopje If We Stick to EU Negotiating Framework
North Macedonia's Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski Tuesday commented on an interview of Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In Kovačevski's words, Osmani's statement is no different than his previous statements, and if North Macedonia sticks to the negotiating framework, there is no need for Osmani to speculate whether there will be additional demands because the framework says it all.
“I am sure that Bulgaria will keep formulating new demands. But what I consider important is EU’s agenda, nothing else,” Osmani said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung interview, in which the opposition in North Macedonia saw confirmation of its own claims.
“In its effort to delay the process [of European integration] and place the country in a state of isolation, the opposition might give Bulgaria a chance to say, ‘Look, they don’t want to fulfil their responsibilities, unlike the EU. We have a negotiating framework with the EU, not with Sofia,” Kovačevski said. He added that he is in constant contact with Osmani and Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Marichikj.
According to Kovačevski, North Macedonia has to focus on the implementation of the negotiating framework adopted by 27 EU Member States, including Bulgaria and Greece - something inconceivable until recently.
“Naturally, we have signed a bilateral treaty with Bulgaria, just like we have with Greece, which we enforce bilaterally, and this is written in the general provisions of the documents with the EU, not in the indicators and criteria by which the country's progress is assessed. And this is the job of the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Joint Multidisciplinary Commission of Experts on Historical and Educational Issues between Bulgaria and North Macedonia, which adopts a decision only when all historians from both countries reach a consensus. What has been adopted so far has been accepted by consensus. And what has been adopted by consensus has been applied in both countries. As far as minority rights are concerned, I believe that we are leaders in Europe. If there is a country where minority rights are protected and promoted, both by law and institutions, it is certainly our country, where every person, regardless of their ethnicity, can equally plan their personal and professional lives,” Kovačevski said.
Kovačevski also took a question about the conditions set by the Albanian opposition parties, which declared that they will endorse the amendments to the Constitution only if the basic law is changed so that North Macedonia’s official language, which is spoken by 20% of the country’s population, is changed to Albanian. According to him, this issue has been discussed by the working group, but it has decided that only amendments which are related to the country's commitments laid down in the negotiating framework will be made at this stage.