The Belgian Ambassador to North Macedonia, Frédéric Meurice, announced that a European Union workgroup will convene next week to discuss the implementation of the Prespa Agreement provision. This provision mandates that the country’s passports reflect its new name, the Republic of North Macedonia, starting from February 13.

In an interview with Nezavisen published on Sunday, Ambassador Meurice emphasized the need for the EU to establish a unified stance on the matter, rather than leaving individual member states to decide independently. He expressed uncertainty regarding Belgium’s specific approach to implementing the change and how citizens without valid passports would be treated.

Meurice highlighted the responsibility of Belgium’s EU Presidency in addressing these issues and disclosed plans for a meeting at the European level early next week. He emphasized the importance of the EU workgroup, tasked with such matters, in working towards a consensus among member states. The goal is to prevent discrepancies in the treatment of individuals, such as differing views between Hungary, Serbia, and Austria.

Meurice stressed the urgency of achieving clarity on this matter in the coming week. According to the Prespa Agreement, the five-year transition period for travel documents containing the country’s old name concludes on Monday at midnight.