European Western Balkans

PES congratulates historic agreement between Athens and Skopje

Zoran Zaev, Sergei Stanishev and Alexis Tsipras; Photo: PES

BRUSSELS – The Party of European Socialists warmly welcomes the agreement reached by prime ministers Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev and the governments in Athens and Skopje in the long-running dispute over the name of the former Yugoslav republic.

Today Greek government announced that they agreed to recognise its northern neighbour as ‘Republic of North Macedonia’ and its counterpart in Skopje expressed their will to start the procedure of changing the country’s name.

Sergei Stanishev, PES president said thath PES is proud that this historic agreement was reached while two progressive governments are running both of the countries. The negotiations and the successful proposal for solution became possible after the Government of Zoran Zaev came in to power in Skopje, ending the years of pointless denial of the conservatives in Skopje.

“This is great for both counties, it’s a victory for democracy and stability in the Balkans region and a victory for the progressive political family in Europe.”

The efforts of both Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev were welcomed by all PES prime ministers in Sofia during the PES preparation meeting for the EU-Western Balkans summit just 3 weeks ago.

“This agreement proofs that the progressive governments are the one who care about the future of the European project. It extends the horizon for Northern Macedonia to start its accession talks with NATO and the EU and to contribute to the stability of the Balkans. The PES calls on all governments in the EU to prove that those who make difficult decisions are rewarded and invite Skopje to start the accession negotiations with the European Union at the 28-29 June EU summit.”, Stanishev added.

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