European Western Balkans

Roth on Bulgarian memorandum: There should be no criteria outside Council Conclusions

Michael Roth; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

BRUSSELS – Asked to comment on the memorandum sent by Bulgaria on the topic of “state-sponsored anti-Bulgarian ideology” in North Macedonia, Minister for Europe in the German Government Michael Roth said that there should not be additional conditions that are not a part of the Council Conclusions.

“We understand ourself as honest brokers to build the bridges which are stable for everyone to cross, and we are discussing the matter without Bulgarian partners because we should be able to work on the basis we set ourselves together. We should not come up with criteria and conditions in addition to this which do not figure in the Council Conclusions”, said Roth in a press conference following yesterday’s meeting of the General Affairs Council.

He appealed to the constructive spirit to everyone.

“Western Balkans is not our backyard, it is our internal courtyard. It is in the interest for everybody, especially those who have Western Balkans in the close neighbourhood, for it to have a European perspective”, he said.

Roth added that German Presidency is working intensively towards holding the first Intergovernmental Conference in December.

“The German Presidency pays close attention to what is happening in the Western Balkans, but more than that, we want to see an increased and deepening commitment of the EU to the Western Balkans. Under Croatian Presidency, we sent an important signal for negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, and presently we are working intensively towards that so that in December we have first Intergovernmental Conference”, he said.

Bulgaria has sent an explanatory memorandum to the Council of the European Union which contains a framework position on the accession of North Macedonia to the EU.

The document, supported by all political parties represented at the Bulgarian National Assembly, consists of six pages of elaborations on a “state-sponsored anti-Bulgarian ideology” in North Macedonia.

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