"This is your European Duty": Macron urges Bulgaria to Support the Veto Compromise on North Macedonia
On Thursday night, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Bulgarian politicians "from across the political spectrum" to support a compromise proposed by France that would allow the lifting of Bulgaria's veto over the start of membership talks with North Macedonia.
"I am looking at the president who has to make a commitment here. The parties of the current majority - those in the coalition and those who have just left it, and those in opposition - should vote for it. It is their European duty," said the President of the French Republic, after the European leaders discussed the enlargement of the EU at their meeting in Brussels, allocating a significant part of it to the Bulgarian veto.
Macron said Bulgaria had come under strong pressure in recent months to lift the veto and expressed respect for "the courage of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who did his best". At the same time, he said that the impossibility of reaching a solution was due to "the current political crisis, about which we cannot close our eyes".
"I think we are very close to an agreement. We made a proposal that allowed us to work very closely with each other and that allows us to satisfy Bulgaria's demands, which are in line with what North Macedonia can do. But obviously, it is about visibility and understanding now and building confidence in the coming hours on what has already been agreed," said Emmanuel Macron.
The French president, whose country currently holds the presidency of the EU Council, expressed confidence that in the coming hours the Bulgarian parliament will be able to vote on the French proposal, after which another round of talks will be held with the Macedonian government "to finalize the agreement".
If successful, the "French compromise" will be discussed by EU ambassadors next week and adopted so that Sofia can lift its veto, receiving the European guarantees it is seeking.
"We've been waiting too long," Macron said.
Speaking after the end of the discussion on enlargement in the European Council, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that the National Assembly would probably fail with its vote before the end of the leadership meeting in Brussels and that the final decision to lift the veto could not be taken before the next week, but that if parliament votes on a position, the government will be able to implement it quickly.
According to him, there is no European country that has not understood the Bulgarian demands and the need for the National Assembly to decide how to proceed with the compromise proposal made by France.
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