Macedonia starts accession talks with NATO

Formal accession talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have begun at NATO’s Brussels HQ.

This comes following the approval in Macedonia’s parliament of the name-change agreement with Greece.

The decision also paves the way for the country to possibly start accession talks with the  EU.

The move has been welcome by, among others, the European Green Party.

It issued a statement on Monday which said, “Congratulations to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the majority of the Macedonian parliament.

"They just took a historic decision to revive the European perspective of their country by voting for the name agreed between Prime Ministers Zaev and Tsipras.  Macedonia had been in a dead-end of European politics for almost three decades.  A lot of their young people lost hope and left the country.  Hope is now coming back.

“A total of 80 members of Macedonia’s 120-seat parliament, including members of the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, approved the proposal to reach the two-thirds majority to change its name to ‘North Macedonia’. 

"The country will now engage in further rounds of voting that should conclude in January before Greece gets to decide on the matter.  

“The Macedonian decision sends out a clear signal across the EU and the world that supposedly intractable conflicts can be resolved around the negotiating table in a spirit of compromise and understanding. This is undeniably a great day for democracy in Macedonia.”

“North Macedonia will be able to rely on the help of its friends within the EU from all democratic political flavours.

"It has been decisive that EPP, S&D, ALDE, and Greens supported the perspective opened by Prime Minister Zaev and Tsipras jointly and clearly," the statement added.

“The Macedonian parliament’s move means a defeat for Russian meddling.  We look forward to the impending  decision on the Greek side to open the door completely.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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