Following the defeat in Brussels, there is a growing rift between Zoran Zaev and Stevo Pendarovski on the issue of the continued implementation of the Prespa treaty.

Speaking to a Greek TV, Pendarovski said that by denying Macedonia the opening of accession talks, EU will provoke the putting on hold of the further implementation of the treaty. Pendarovski was talking about the article 1(10) of the treaty, which conditions the use of the imposed new name with the opening of accession talks chapters.

Zaev also hinted at this article in his initial response. But now, he insists that Macedonia will implement the treaty regardless of the EU accession talks.

We can’t write the State Archive of Macedonia, we have a Constitution and the name needs to be changed, Zaev said, talking about one of the institutions which still use the name Macedonia without the imposed adjective “north”. We need to leave an impression that we are implementing the treaty, and we expect the Greek side to do the same.

The renaming of institutions and the issuing of official documents with the “new name” is tied with the relevant EU chapters, according to most interpretations of the article. Regardless, Zaev’s Government went full steam ahead to dictate the use of the name “North Macedonia”, even before the accession talks began.