Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev (c) is welcomed by European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini (r) and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn (l) ahead to a EU/North Macedonia Association Council in Brussels, Tuesday.
The European Union’s top diplomat says the bloc aims to begin membership talks with North Macedonia in June, after the country lifted the biggest obstacle to joining by changing its name last month.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday that “our joint objective is to have a green light in June to start negotiations.”
The former Yugoslav republic formally changed its name to address concerns from Greece, opening the way to likely EU and NATO membership.
But North Macedonia remains locked in fierce political rivalry as EU officials urge it to keep up political and justice reforms, and to fight corruption.
The Balkan country was granted EU candidate status in 2005 but the name dispute stopped the launch of membership talks. [AP]