North Macedonia President to Discuss EU Accession with Macron

President Stevo Pendarovski will meet his counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of next week's Paris Peace Forum in an attempt to convince the French President that North Macedonia deserves a start date for EU accession negotiations, it was announced on Tuesday.

It will be the first meeting between Macron and a senior official from the Western Balkans after France last month blocked the start of accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania.

"The president [Pendarovski] travels to Paris next week where he will attend the Paris Peace Forum. The meeting with President Macron is scheduled for November 12," Pendarovski's spokesperson Biljana Radeva told BIRN.

The main topics are expected to be Macedonia's EU perspective, and Pendarovski is expected to present North Macedonia's arguments to Macron as well as listening to what the French president has to say about what more the Balkan state has to do to secure a start date, according to Pendarovski's office.

On Monday, Pendarovski said he was making attempts to secure a meeting with Macron in hope of hearing more about what France wants in order to agree the start of accession talks.

He said he would be interested in "finding out what exactly are their requests from us so that we can overcome this utterly unpleasant situation".

At last month's European Council in Brussels, EU leaders could not agree to grant start dates for Albania's and North Macedonia's EU accession talks, due to France's blockade, dashing high hopes in Skopje and Tirana.

The development appeared to leave EU enlargement policy in a state of confusion.

"The European Council will revert to the issue of enlargement before the EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May 2020," said a statement...

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