Maricic: Let's not set barriers for ourselves

Photo: Government of RSM

We should be wise and not set up barriers for ourselves. It would be irresponsible to reject this proposal in which we have achieved our key requirements and hope to be offered another better one. In the right moments, we really need wise and statesmanlike decisions, said the vice-prime minister on European issues Bojan Maricic after the meeting in Skopje with the German special representative for the Western Balkans, Manuel Saratsin.

- We have before us a European proposal for the start of negotiations with the EU, which includes all Macedonian positions and remarks, with which the negotiations will begin immediately after its approval. This is a chance for North Macedonia. This is a package that should determine our course of negotiations with the EU from now until the end of the negotiations and a package that should close a serious dispute that we have with Bulgaria. We have two key interests – to preserve our identity and language and to become a member of the EU. We think that the new French proposal makes it possible, Maricic said.

In front of him, in the coming days, without too much delay, we have to make a decision, whatever it may be. We believe this is an opportunity not to be missed. It is worth gathering strength and taking the separate step for which we have been waiting for 17 years. Until now, time has worked for us, but in the conditions of war in Ukraine, this is an opportunity that we should seriously take into account, and I think that further delays will not be in our interest, he says.

We can, he added, hope for a better proposal, we also hoped in 2008 when we received the veto for NATO membership on a better proposal with Greece, and 10 years later we resolved that issue in a much less favorable position than the one we had in 2008.

- The government is presenting this proposal to all parties with all its good and bad sides, and we believe that it is an opportunity that we should not miss. This is a national task regardless of ethnicity and political affiliation. If we refuse this now, we will have to negotiate again from the beginning in the future, and not continue where we left off, Maricic pointed out.

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