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Dimitrov: Now is the time to start talks with the EU

It is time to start accession negotiations. A real test for the EU is exactly our issue, because we are a candidate country for 16 years, said today the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov in the joint meeting after the bilateral meeting with the Austrian Minister for Europe and the Constitution, Carolina Edshtadler.

Answering reporters’ questions whether other countries are expected to block the start of negotiations for our membership in the Union, Dimitrov stressed that the imperative for success is really great this year, emphasizing that what he says about the EU and reforms, relies on promises from Brussels.

“We were told in June 2018 – we are drawing the way to start negotiations in June 2019. In June 2019 we were told, however we will decide in October 2019, while in October 2019 we were told, we can not make a decision now . The decision was taken in March 2020, but has not yet been implemented. That is why I am more and more honest and I think that the real test for the EU is exactly our issue, we are a candidate country for 16 years, while in the level of compliance we are absolutely in the same, while in certain areas “even in a better condition with the countries that have been in the membership process for many years”, stressed Dimitrov.

Austrian Minister Edshtadler, for her part, stressed that she sees a great danger if due to bilateral conflicts or discourses or unresolved issues in history, a big mistake is made and negotiations with the country do not start.

“I want to say once again the offer of Austria as a kind of mediator for solving the problem between Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia. We need to mediate, because it is something less than our common future, and we need to be aware that a few days before May 9 – Europe Day, it is finally time to start the conferences, to involving the countries of the Western Balkans in dialogue and to enable their future. Let this not happen in the next three, five or 10 years, but let integration happen quickly and be given perspective now. Austria, as a partner with the countries of the Western Balkans, wants to play this role, knowing that at the European level some other work needs to be completed for the dialogue to continue. “I hope this happens soon,” said Edshtadler.

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