Bilateral issues are not part of the negotiating framework, this is very clear. The country must go through the negotiating process and join the European Union after a certain number of years, Dutch Ambassador Dirk-Jan Kop said in an interview with TV Sitel.

According to the ambassador, at the moment it is impossible to give an answer whether the country will start negotiations with the EU by the end of the year, although, he said, it is clear where this process should go and it is much more important than a date.

It is impossible for me to answer that. A lot is being done at the moment, and Macedonia and Bulgaria are talking, that is always good. The Germans who currently hold the presidency are working hard to unite the two sides, whether they will succeed is impossible to predict, but everyone still hopes that the outcome will be positive, says Jan Kop.

He reminded that even during the accession of new member states, especially the large group that became part of the EU in 2004, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and others, there were many bilateral issues that had to be resolved. Issues, as he says, that were difficult and open for a very long time between Poland and Lithuania, Italy and Slovenia, Hungary and Romania and everyone said these are such difficult issues, it is impossible to solve, but they were all resolved, otherwise they could not join the EU.

He pointed out that there is a political commitment, which according to him, was important for getting the green light in March.

When the intergovernmental conference will take place is not so important. I think too much symbolism is given on a date. What the country needs to do now is to go through the 35 chapters of the accession process with us, starting with Chapters 23 and 24 on the rule of law and the judiciary. The foundation is laid. The structure is clear. The EU member states have been preparing the negotiating framework together with the Commission for the past six months. It is clear where this process should go, it is much more important than a date, said the ambassador, emphasizing that nothing works in a society if there is no rule of law.