Latest News from Macedonia
It is a decision of the European Council not to open membership talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania. The decision, which deeply compromises the EU, as an institution that can be trusted as much as Donald Trump, but also a decision that puts Croatia in a terribly embarrassing position, writes the author Robert Bajrushi.
The decision was made on the meeting of the leaders of all parliamentary parties with the country's President Stevo Pendarovski held last night, which was scheduled last Friday after the European leaders decided to postpone the start for the opening of accession negotiations with Skopje.
Since the 2003 Thessaloniki Summit, every EU Commissioner and virtually every European head of state has told this region: "Your future is in the Union, the onus is on you to make it happen."
Well, the Macedonians are making it happen, as well as anyone else has in this region, especially given the scale of democratic backsliding that occurred under the previous government in Skopje.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said today that he is concerned about the possible destabilization and escalation of conflicts in the region and that Serbia is doing everything to prevent it, as well as that our country must arm itself, as all the countries around us do.
"To me, Brexit is a colossal mistake. But this is my opinion, I am not the Prime Minister of Great Britain." This comment was made by former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was awarded the Hunziker Medal at a ceremony in Plovdiv. The prize is from the International Association of Philatelic Experts (AIEP) for a significant contribution to research.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Friday failed to persuade France to allow a hoped-for start to accession talks for North Macedonia and Albania - and also failed to agree on a written conclusion, which, in the absence of a date for EU talks, would have sent a positive message to Skopje and Tirana about their further engagement in the process.
AGERPRES special correspondent Florentina Peia reports: President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that the future multiannual budget of the European Union should be an "adequate one." Asked what the size of the future budget should be, he said replied: "An adequate one".
The decision was not reached despite all night long dramatic discussion, and despite the warnings that turning Tirana and Skopje away would tarnish the EU's reputation and could risk inflaming the Western Balkans region.
In a major blow to the hopes of the two Balkan countries, the European Council - preoccupied with Brexit - on Thursday failed to give Albania and North Macedonia a date to start EU membership talks.
In a last-ditch effort to reach an agreement on the matter, amid fading hope, the Council moved the issue of enlargement to Friday's last session of the council.
It is very important for the Balkans, the region and our relations with North Macedonia and Albania that these countries are given EU Membership perspective. It would be a historic mistake if they were not allowed to enter EU accession negotiations today. This was what Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said before the start of today's meeting of the European Council in Brussels.