North Macedonia Approves Agreement With Bulgaria Necessary For EU Accession
The North Macedonian Parliament has agreed a deal with Bulgaria that will enable the country to submit an application for EU membership, reports The Financial Times.
After being modified to ensure that Macedonian would be recognized as a language in the EU and that bilateral difficulties with Bulgaria would no longer be a factor in accession negotiations, lawmakers adopted the accord offered by the French EU president.
Despite a walkout by the opposition, which expressed concern, the bill was approved with 68 of 120 votes, according to the Financial Times.
Experts believe that the move toward Northern Macedonia’s EU membership may hasten the alliance of connected Albania’s admittance as well as improve the EU’s influence in the Western Balkans. According to the Financial Times, the EU aims to increase its presence in the area to offset Russia’s expanding sway.