Spain backs North Macedonia’s bid to hitch the European Union, the nation’s overseas minister stated Friday.
José Manuel Albares Bueno introduced his nation’s assist throughout a West Balkan tour that started Friday as he met along with his North Macedonian counterpart, Bujar Osmani, within the capital of Skopje.
North Macedonia and neighboring Albania have been candidate nations since 2005 and launched membership negotiations with the EU final yr in a course of that’s anticipated to take years.
Spain will take over the European Union’s presidency from Sweden in July.
Albares instructed reporters at a joint information convention that his nation “helps the European perspective of the Western Balkans as an EU coverage for gradual integration.”
“We need to strengthen our cooperation and I feel that the opening of negotiations is an enormous step,” Albares stated.
Disputes with neighbors have held up accession talks for North Macedonia. A spat with Greece over using the identify Macedonia and the area’s ancient heritage lasted many years. The newest dispute, between North Macedonia and neighboring Bulgaria, an EU member since 2007, can also be centered on Macedonian id, in addition to historical past, language and tradition.
Bulgaria has stated it can elevate objections to the beginning of EU membership talks for North Macedonia in alternate for the nation’s settlement to acknowledge an ethnic Bulgarian minority in its structure.
However the constitutional modification requires a two-thirds majority, or 80 votes within the 120-seat parliament. The governing coalition led by the center-left Social Democrats is backed by solely 64 lawmakers. The conservative opposition has publicly opposed the change to the structure.
Osmani stated that North Macedonia “stays strongly dedicated to fulfilling the mandatory obligations to proceed the method of accession negotiations.”