European Union officials Friday said North Macedonia has made progress in a bid to join the bloc but urged political leaders to adopt a promised constitutional amendment needed to further the process.
The small Balkan country has promised neighbor Bulgaria it will add a reference in its constitution to the existence of an ethnic Bulgarian minority. But the conservative opposition does not support the move that requires a two-thirds majority in parliament.
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“Moving forward also means improving relations with your neighbors, including creating the conditions to adopt the constitutional amendments. This year is crucial,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after talks in the capital Skopje with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski.
Borrell is traveling in the region with EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi and also visited fellow candidate Albania. On Saturday, he will travel to North Macedonia’s lakeside town of Ohrid to chair a new round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo. Kovachevski said his government’s goal is for North Macedonia to achieve full membership to the bloc by 2030.