French Secretary of State for European affairs Clément Beaune answered some of the dilemmas regarding the French proposal for the negotiation framework, but did not go into details so as not to jeopardize the negotiations, reported MIA’s correspondent in Brussels.

Asked by MIA during today’s press conference after the General Affairs Council that the French proposal included bilateral Macedonian-Bulgarian issues in the negotiating framework, Clément Beaune distanced himself from the view that the French proposal is against Macedonian interests, but stressed that the Bulgarian preoccupations should be taken into account in a careful way.

We have adhered to the principle, in contact with the European Commission and our European partners, that the negotiating framework is not a place for purely bilateral negotiations. It must be concluded that there has been a bilateral blockade for months. Carefully and with balance, but I reject that this would be against the interests of Macedonia, on the contrary, in contact with Skopje, through the information from the bilateral discussions between Skopje and Sofia, but also through the direct contacts we had, which the European Commission had with both sides, I say that there are some topics that do not have a direct bilateral character, but affect Bulgaria ‘s preoccupations in its relationship with Macedonia, in the negotiating framework, in a careful and limited way, Beaune said.

He has repeatedly stated that he does not want to give details because the negotiations are still ongoing and does not want to jeopardize them.

Many member states have reminded at every step, and rightly so, that the negotiating framework is not the place to deal with all bilateral issues. There are preoccupations that can have a transversal character and that we integrate in the negotiation framework in a targeted way. That is the calibration we are trying to find, that is the heart of the matter, that targeting, in a spirit of balance and fairness, added the French Secretary of State for European affairs.

Beaune stressed that the rule in negotiations with the EU is that each stage opens with the unanimity of all member states.