Juncker Said that Some EU Countries Still Do Not Agree with the Negotiation Talks with Skopje
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced that some EU countries still oppose the possibility of starting negotiations on the accession of northern Macedonia to the Community. He made this statement at a joint press conference with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
,,Our objective assessment is that Northern Macedonia is ready for the start of EU accession talks. Some countries abstain and will do our best to convince them of the need to take this historic step'', Juncker said.
The Council of the EU will discuss the issue more generally this month. The EC's wish is to make a decision in the summer, he explained. Asked whether he expects a revision of the agreement between Skopje and Athens after the Greek elections, Juncker said the deal was between governments and therefore did not expect any changes.
,,The contract is a contract'', he added.
,,Northern Macedonia can not be a victim of how EU countries respect or obey the rule of law. I am proud of the progress made by Northern Macedonia in the courage of the steps taken. This is a brilliant example of the region. Skopje's contracts with Sofia and Athens show the need for a culture of political concessions. Others in the region have to do the same'', Juncker said.
,,If Europe continues to encourage us and gives us fair and deserved opportunities, we will be able to succeed more quickly'', said Zoran Zaev.
,, The decision (to begin the negotiations) should be made according to achievements'', he added, asking if Albania could not be an obstacle in the process.