Pendarovski: Western Balkans should reject everything that is not EU membership

Stevo Pendarovski; Photo: Tanjug / AP / Dragan Perkovski

SKOPJE – President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski believes that the Western Balkans and EU should hold a Summit in which every alternative to full membership should be rejected.

In an interview for Serbian public broadcaster RTS, Pendarovski said that “we do not see ourselves as European neighbours”, which is a category that applies for the Eastern Partnership countries, Moldova and the countries of Central Asia and North Africa.

“We are negotiating in order to become member states. in one of the meeting in Brussels, our delegation was told that an alternative to membership is considered, in the form of the wider European market without political institutions”, he emphasised.

His idea of the Western Balkans-EU Summit is to send a message that this is not satisfactory.

“I believe that all of us that are affected by this should sign a Declaration, that after so many years we are not even close to being satisfied with a membership in the European Economic Area”, Pendarovski stressed.

In the interview, President of North Macedonia also reflected on his previous comments that the change of borders as a solution to Serbia-Kosovo dispute is unwelcome.

Pendarovski said that his earlier statement on the issue caused negative reactions of the Serbian government which, he says, is legitimate.

“I have no problem with that. I am taking care of my country. It is of the highest importance that a country remains in its borders”, Pendarovski said, referring to the solution as “anachronistic”.

He added that without the participation of the international community there will be no normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, even though the will of Belgrade and Pristina in this process is crucial.

President of North Macedonia announced his visit to Serbia on the official invitation of President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, which will take place on 22 November.