Percorso:ANSA > Nuova Europa > Macedonia > Juncker, ready to defend Skopje for opening EU talks

Juncker, ready to defend Skopje for opening EU talks

'European leaders must take their responsibilities by summer'

04 June, 20:37
(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, 04 JUNE - The President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said today he will do "everything" he can to "convince EU Member States" who have concerns "to take this historic step" and open the accession negotiations with North Macedonia. "I will defend North Macedonia whenever needed", Juncker said in a joint press point with the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

"Northern Macedonia has delivered its duties, now it is up to the EU to do the same," said Juncker, adding that Brussels will do "everything possible" so that EU leaders reach a decision "by summertime".

The European Commission's decision to recommend the start of negotiations to the twenty-eight Member States "is based on a totally objective assessment of the facts, for us the country is ready for the next step", Juncker underlined, recalling the progress made by Skopje in the last year, notably the two historic agreements with Greece and Bulgaria, as well as the crucial reforms in the areas of justice, public administration and the fight against corruption. Juncker then warned that "Macedonian citizens cannot become victims" of the violation of the rule of law "of some Member States".

The first debate between the EU countries on the opening of negotiations for Skopje and Tirana is due to be held at the General Affairs Council on June, 18th. (ANSA).

© Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved