Bulgaria stops Macedonia's path to EU despite support from Spain

Bulgaria showed dissaproval to North Macedonia’s integration into 27- Nation European Union despite of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s offer of his country’s full support to North Macedonia. On Monday, Spain’s PM Sanchez talked with North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski about the same. The country bid its name to become a member of the EU, but Bulgaria rejected their entry, and any move by the EU to add new members requires unanimous approval.

Bulgaria refused the EU’s negotiation framework for North Macedonia and effectively blocked the accession talks’ start. Sofia’s primary concern is the slow progress of implementation of the Friendship treaty signed between the two countries.


Well, Spain emphasized its complete support to North Macedonia and ensured to help them to join the European Union. Bulgaria, which has been an EU member since 2007, insisted that North Macedonia formally recognize that it’s
language has Bulgarian roots, acknowledged in its constitution as a Bulgarian minority and renounce what was said as “hate speech” against Bulgaria.

Amid concerns over Russia’s efforts to increase its influence in the Balkans, EU officials have recently encouraged governments in the region to move on with reforms . The war in Ukraine has made the EU rethink its policies and open its doors to Western Balkans and Eastern Europe countries.

At a conference with Kovachevski, the Spanish PM Sanchez said, “We are more united now than ever. You can count on your European perspective. The EU started membership negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania two weeks ago, a long-awaited step in Balkans nations’ paths towards EU membership that gained momentum amid the war in Ukraine.

The decision came after North Macedonia’s parliament approved an agreement overcoming Bulgaria’s objections and cleared the path for negotiations to commence. Regarding Bulgaria, the country held up progress on North Macedonia’s accession talks, accusing the government of disregarding shared historical, cultural and linguistic ties.