September 19, 2020

NRW regrets missing place for North Macedonia in the EU

Ambassador Ramadan Nazifi & Minister Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner – Picture by NRW.

Monday, 18 November 2019, Düsseldorf, NRW: Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, Minister for European Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia, met Ramadan Nazifi, Ambassador of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, to discuss the postponement of accession negotiations with the European Union. At the EU summit in October, the European Council decided to postpone the start of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

Minister Holthoff-Pförtner as per statement below: “The decision of the European Council is a historic mistake. We should remember the foresight of the founders of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 – seven years after the end of the Second World War in 1945 – who laid the foundations for a united, peaceful and democratic Europe. What a fundamentally different decision in the face of an incomparably greater challenge! The postponement of the accession negotiations is a sign of small-mindedness and needs to be corrected”.

The Minister continued: “Macedonia in particular only entered into a very painful compromise for the country in January, when it changed its name to North Macedonia to take account of its neighbour Greece. This positive signal to the EU, combined with the commitment of young people, in particular, who see their future in Europe, must not simply be put to one side.”

Dr. Holthoff-Pförtner announced that he would hold further talks with representatives of Albania, and the Western Balkan states on the European perspective of these countries.

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