Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bojan Maricic believes that progress in European integration is necessary for the Western Balkan countries and that now is the time for swift European integration of the region, while according to President Stevo Pendarovski, the chances of removing the Bulgarian veto are increasingly lower.

According to former Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov, Bulgaria is too enslaved to public opinion, and he believes that true state leaders must create public opinion, especially when it comes to historic decisions.

The fact is that the “construction of the Bulgarian political scene” is currently such that it is difficult to reach an agreement, President Stevo Pendarovski said on Monday, assessing that the chances of removing the Bulgarian veto are decreasing.

The EU perspective in the foreseeable future is unfortunately over. The chances are getting smaller and smaller. I cannot say that they are over. I cannot say, people, as of tomorrow we are moving to a completely different strategic perspective, because I do not see another better, but we must manage those expectations that were unrealistically high over the past year or two, said President Stevo Pendarovski on the “Morning briefing” show.

Deputy Prime Minister Maricic believes that despite the military crisis in Ukraine, the Western Balkans must remain the focus of the EU, as it is in the geostrategic interest of the Union as well.

It is time for quick interventions in EU integration and correction of the mistakes of the past. The war in Ukraine is the latest warning to the Union about the risk it is taking by leaving the region unintegrated, Maricic said Monday at the annual Southeastern Europe Democracy Summit in Budva, Montenegro.

At a meeting with Montenegrin Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic, Maricic said that the progress of a Western Balkan country is progress for all and for the entire region.

It is an important lesson that we must know and that everything we do at the regional level, on the foundations of European values, will bring peace, stability and progress, and that will mean the well-being of our citizens, Maricic said.