European Western Balkans

Bulgaria adopts list of conditions for accession talks of North Macedonia

Boyko Borissov, Zoran Zaev during the signing of the Good Neighbourly Agreement in 2017; Photo: Tanjug / Foto MIA

SOFIA – Government of Bulgaria adopted a list of more than 20 conditions and a timetable for North Macedonia to fulfill them during its EU accession talks.

According to Balkan Insight, the document adopted on Wednesday supports giving North Macedonia and Albania a start date for EU accession negotiations at the European Council meeting slated for October 17.

Sofia threatens to block the first inter-government conference, which would formally mark the start of Skopje’s EU accession talks, if it fails to see “real progress” by North Macedonia in implementing their 2017 bilateral friendship treaty.

Most notably, North Macedonia must give up any claim about the existence of a Macedonian minority in Bulgaria, Balkan Insight reports.

In the document, Bulgaria also advises the EU to avoid using the term “Macedonian language” during the accession talks, and instead use the term “Official language of Republic of North Macedonia”.

Other demands include various changes to Macedonian cultural and educational policy, as well as more alignment in the joint history commission, which was established after the 2017 friendship treaty.

Government of North Macedonia has not reacted to the conditions yet.

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