Positive signals from Sofia to Skopje on lifting veto on EU accession talks

North Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Artan Grubi, believes Bulgaria could be set to greenlight the country’s EU accession, suggesting the veto could be lifted.

Bulgaria has refused to allow North Macedonia to progress to the first intergovernmental conference, marking the formal start of accession negotiations over unresolved language, culture, and human rights issues.

Grubi told Macedonian media that he had received information that Sofia could be set to change its stance.

“We are optimistic because we have information. We have full information about what is happening between Skopje and Sofia, and this gives us full confidence this issue can be solved. We are trying at the EU summit on December 14 to get the first positive signals that the door will open for us.”

He added his government had prepared an answer to Bulgarian conditions that “we think will be acceptable”.

“Our goal is to resolve this issue in January, February, or March next year and in the coming months next year to hold the first intergovernmental conference,” he said.

As for the future of the Macedonian government following the crushing local election defeat, Grubi remained optimistic and spoke of an “increase in parliamentary support”.

“The local elections are not related to the central government, and the ruling majority is stable. Zoran Zaev is the key figure in Macedonia’s European perspective.”

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev previously confirmed that his government does want North Macedonia to continue on its EU accession path, noting “it’s not complicated” but that certain con ditions must be met first.

Earlier Radev said Albania could go ahead with the opening of accession talks with the EU not linking the process with the Sofia-Skopje dispute. That move by Bulgaria was welcomed by Albania with President Ilir Meta greeting such a step. / Argumentum.al