North Macedonia's President Asserts No Constitutional Changes Required by Bulgaria Agreement

Southeast Europe | July 5, 2024, Friday // 09:39|  views

In her first interview as president, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova emphasized that North Macedonia has fulfilled its obligations under the Prespa Agreement ahead of schedule. She stated that the agreement with Bulgaria does not mandate constitutional changes and suggested Greece or the EU advise Bulgaria on this matter. Siljanovska respects the treaties and noted the inconsistency in the presidential oath's reference to the country's name, asserting she did not breach the Prespa Agreement. She stressed that constitutional amendments should not be a prerequisite for opening EU negotiations, underscoring that adherence to both treaties is necessary. Siljanovska also responded to questions about using the name North Macedonia, pointing out that her Greek counterparts do not repeatedly refer to their country as the Hellenic Republic. She believes the expectation to change the constitution before starting negotiations is unreasonable and reiterated that North Macedonia has met its commitments under the Prespa Agreement.

Siljanovska's comments come amidst ongoing debates about the implementation of international agreements and the future of North Macedonia's EU accession process. She highlighted that while the constitution refers to the Republic of North Macedonia, the Electoral Law still mentions only the Republic of Macedonia. During her oath, she only mentioned Macedonia, aiming to respect both domestic and international legal frameworks without causing diplomatic issues. Despite not opening negotiating chapters after signing the Prespa Agreement, Siljanovska stressed that the EU must decide when to begin negotiations, and further constitutional changes should not be demanded prematurely. She maintains that North Macedonia's obligations have been met, and it's now up to the EU and Greece to facilitate the next steps in the accession process.

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Tags: agreement, macedonia, Bulgaria, greece

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