North Macedonian parliament approves compromise plan with Bulgaria

On Saturday, lawmakers in North Macedonia approved the French-backed deal to end the dispute with Bulgaria to pave the way for its EU membership process.

The document was approved by 68 out of 120 votes, but the decision-making representatives did not take part in the voting and left the room.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski said in a press conference after the parliamentary approval: “Today we are opening a new perspective for our country, from today we are moving towards joining the EU family with accelerated steps.”

Kovacevski added that the first round of talks between the country and the European bloc will take place on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, North Macedonia’s government said it had backed a deal that would settle an ongoing dispute with Bulgaria and open the door to EU membership talks.

Kovačevski met with government coalition partners to consider a French EU Presidency proposal to resolve the recent spate of tensions between the two countries over language, history and the rights of ethnic Bulgarians in North Macedonia.

The Prime Minister said: “The proposal is seen as a solid basis for building a serious, responsible and ambitious position on the opportunity our country is facing.”

According to a senior official in North Macedonia, the government can relocate without parliamentary approval.

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