Pendarovski: If the negotiations with the EU are not based on history, we will complete them in record time

Stevo Pendarovski, president of RSM/Photo: Sloboden pechat

I am confident that if the negotiation process with the EU is not based predominantly on history, if it is based on real European criteria and values, we will complete those negotiations in record time, President Stevo Pendarovski said in response to a journalist's question at the joint press conference with his German colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Skopje.

- I assure you, because I know the level of readiness of my country in terms of European integration - we have been preparing for these negotiations for 17 years, that is the longest period of preparations of any country in the history of the EU, Pendarovski assessed. We are the best prepared candidate for membership in the history of the EU. The teams for each chapter were made a decade and a half ago, said Pendarovski.

When asked by a journalist that, according to the latest polls, support for EU membership is declining, Pendarovski assessed that his impression is that the main argument for a decline in Euro-enthusiasm in the EU is on the side of Brussels.

- It is true that polls in the last 18 months both in our country and in our region show a decline in support for the EU. I would not like to exempt all of us who are local and regional political leaders, of course we also have a certain part of the responsibility here. However, my impression, my analysis rests on the fact that the main reason, the main argument for this decline in Euro-enthusiasm to call it support for EU membership is on the side of Brussels because in the past three-four, five or more years we objectively do not see that the European integration process is moving forward, Pendarovski pointed out.

He reminded that Serbia and Montenegro, which have been negotiating for a decade, are not making progress in European integration, while, he assessed, BiH and Kosovo are completely forgotten in the process of European integration.  until recently when Bosnia received a recommendation for candidate status.

- North Macedonia and Albania were effectively blocked by Bulgaria until a few months ago. So, you cannot explain to Macedonian citizens why the EU has been delaying the start of negotiations for 17 years for various reasons. If in those negotiations that would be started, we are not good, we are not effective, then we will be able to locate the responsibility predominantly on our side. However, it seems to me that if the door is opened, and indeed if it is opened wide for the entire region in European integration, you will see much better results in the support of our citizens for the integration process, Pendarovski assessed at the joint press conference with his German colleague Steinmeier.

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