Bulgaria: Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and President Rumen Radev are planning a recent visit to Paris to approve a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to lift the veto on northern Macedonia’s European integration. This was stated by BGNES, which refers to sources from various political formations that participated in the last Coalition Council on May 27. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, Deputy Prime Minister Asen Vassilev, Deputy Foreign Minister Velislava Petrova, Ivan Chenchev and Georgi Svilenski (BSP), Grozdan Karadjov and Stanislav Balabanov (ITN), Atanas Atanasov and Vladislav Panev (DB). There is still no official statement on the subject from government officials. Petkov himself commented on the topic in the sense that negotiations are underway at the level of diplomats, but that whatever is agreed between them, the decisive word is the Bulgarian parliament and it will become clear: Petkov for future joint meeting with Macron and Radev for membership in the North Macedonia in the EU: I can’t confirm According to BGNES, the coalition partners have agreed not to comment officially on the veto case for Northern Macedonia in the next two weeks.
The Bulgarian government and Radev have already held talks with the French presidency of the Council of the EU. Macron has promised to include all Bulgarian demands in the negotiating framework and to be the guarantor of their implementation. On May 18, the Elysee Palace issued an official statement on the talks, noting that the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, also took part. Macron is committed to fostering dialogue between the two countries and has backed the European perspective of the Western Balkans. “This practically means that we trust Macron completely, but at the same time we run the risk of falling into a decade-long dispute, because each of the member states will be able to block any decision. It will be an endless dispute, and we do not want Turkish option, “one Coalition Council participant told the agency. Bulgaria’s position on lifting the veto for the start of negotiations for Skopje’s EU membership states that the rights of the Bulgarian minority be guaranteed in the Constitution of our western neighbor. A few days ago, Prime Minister Petkov asked President Rumen Radev to convene a National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) on Northern Macedonia, but Radev saw no reason to convene it. He wants “guarantees from the PCM that will lead to irreversible results”.
According to another participant in the May 27 meeting in Macron’s plan, “there are proposals that are not clear and it is not at all certain that the European Commission can give guarantees for their implementation in the future.” The participants in the coalition council were very impressed by the information that “President Radev had a very positive conversation with Macron.” “It’s so transparent. Radev himself said the day after the council: ‘I can congratulate President Macron on his vision and courage to seek an adequate solution to find a way out of this situation and to uphold truth and justice,'” said a Coalition Council member. .
However, one of the participants in the government meeting reacted with “disregard” to the opinion of Bulgarians on the issue of Skopje’s European integration. “Whatever we offer will pass, because Bulgarians do not understand this issue,” he said. “Probably for this reason, tens of thousands of levs have been set aside for a sociological agency to process the population on this issue in the next two weeks,” he added. The lifting of the veto was also necessary due to Ukraine’s desire to start EU accession negotiations. It will be a very bad signal if Ukraine receives an invitation and the RNM and Albania continue to wait, and for that reason the French Presidency is in a hurry with the proposal. According to one of the participants in the Coalition Council, Macron’s plan must be ready before the implementation of Coreper – the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the governments of the EU member states. It is the main preparatory body of the Council of the EU. Prior to its discussion by Coreper, Macron’s plan had to be approved by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. It is expected that our delegation in Paris will include a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the talks, neither the issue of the rights of Bulgarians in Northern Macedonia nor the main point of the 2017 Neighborhood Agreement – the common history of the two countries – were discussed in depth. According to BGNES, the first official comments on the topic should come after the proposed text is announced and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the moment, the coalition partners claim that “there are no retreats on the issue of RNM and the national interests of our country will be protected.” Petkov has already stated several times that the issue is so important that there is no way to make a single decision and defined as speculation the thesis that he himself had agreed to lift the veto.
During the meeting it was agreed that any different opinion and position on this issue of politicians, scientists, historians, journalists to be “attacked as quickly as possible and with severe political accusations.” The National Security Advisory Council requested by the Prime Minister Kiril Petkov to the President on the topic of Skopje will be convened after the visit to France. The Prime Minister himself has personally committed himself to holding it. After the meeting of the CIS with Radev – BSP will convene the National Council, which will give a mandate to Cornelia Ninova to support the proposed text. The other parties, which are part of the government coalition, will call on their deputies to “vote in good conscience or call on them to support the only possible solution”. In this way, the current position of our country will be changed, and Prime Minister Kiril Petkov will fulfill his promise that everything will be approved by the National Assembly. “Bulgaria much more than the RSM itself – not to mention France, which was the first to block the RSM – wants the authorities in Skopje to start EU membership talks. The solution is possible and can be found very quickly, as long as there is minimal will on the part “It is enough to look diagonally at the transcripts of the latest talks between the delegations of the two foreign ministries. The behavior of one of them is bordering on arrogance,” said another member of the Coalition Council. “There must be a solution and it is possible. But look at the messages of local politicians, President Pendarovski, the opposition, participants in the government. They openly say that their membership in the EU is a distant prospect. There is more anti-European behavior and propaganda. only in Belarus and Russia, “the BGNES source said. Although the Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, said weeks ago that Skopje is putting the guarantees for the Bulgarian minority at a high level and working on the issue, Stevo Pendarovski’s rhetoric is quite different. According to him, the current situation on the Bulgarian political scene is such that it is difficult to reach an agreement. Lastly, he called the “illusion” of northern Macedonia joining the EU in the foreseeable future.