In the interview with Netpress, Mickoski responds to several topics related to the country’s EU integration, Bulgaria’s blockade, the situation in the judiciary.

Asked what has changed in the country for the better or for the worse since it became a full-fledged member of NATO, Mickoski said that the country’s name Macedonia changed in order to become a member of NATO, which caused great frustration and revolt among the citizens.

Were it not for the agreement of the institute of MP and Parliament, were it not for Zoran Zaev and the institute of amnesty, then, perhaps, there would not have been a violent way to change the name Macedonia and we would be a member of NATO anyway. But it is what it is, that is Zaev. We should fight to correct the mistakes of Zoran Zaev, which are historical mistakes, he said.

Regarding Bulgaria’s blockade, the opposition leader reminded of their warnings about the good-neighborhood agreement, saying that it has no value as long as Bulgarian politicians continue to deny the Macedonian identity, language, tradition, customs, history, culture.

That agreement, practically, has no more value and I think we should sit down and discuss a new agreement, in which the first priority will be the things that will bring us closer, and not the things that will divide us. And that is the only way, I would say fierce pressure from Brussels on these unreasonable, big-state, hegemonic demands of our eastern neighbor and that is the way we can move forward and prove that we are part of that European family. On the contrary, this precedent can grow into a tradition and spread across the entire European Union and become a serious problem for all countries. Not only for those aspiring countries, but also for the EU member states, Mickoski said.

As to Macedonia’s relations with with the other neighboring countries in the region, Mickoski believes that they are correct, not because the government has created such a climate and ambience, but simply because we are a small nation and it is logical to build bridges, instead of tearing them down, and that is the only way of a good neighborly, friendly policy,

Asked whether he believes that is there a sincere mood in the EU for enlargement to the Western Balkans, the VMRO-DPMNE leader said that if there was, the EU would have pressed Bulgaria and allowed the intergovernmental conference to take place in October.

I think that at this moment, Euroscepticism is somehow being set up as a kind of stop and barrier to give additional pressure to make this happen, he said.

In the interview Mickoski said that the current Macedonian ruling party does not have the potential to respond to the conditions set by Brussels.

He said that he was confident that the future VMRO-DPMNE government will put the state on fast track to EU membership by gathering a serious group of intellectuals, not only from Macedonia but also from abroad who can help speed up the process.

As regards the judiciary, Mickoski said that unfortunately, with SDSM and Zaev the country was slowly but surely moving towards anarchy.

That is why we need changes, we need to restore the rule of law and we need to change the model of electing judges and prosecutors. No one should threaten them. We need professional people, who do their job competently. If judges and prosecutors are left to work freely, we will have good results in the judiciary, he said.