Ahead of the European Council in Brussels on Thursday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed concern because of the Bulgarian blockade on Macedonia, saying there are efforts to overcome the dispute, with a 50-60 percent chance for a breakthrough next week.
Regarding the Western Balkans, the situation varies from country to country. Bosnia knows that it has work to do before gaining candidate status. Kosovo has made some progress towards visa liberalization, but I am most concerned about Macedonia, and thus Albania, due to the Bulgarian blockade of the country and the start of accession talks, Rutte said.
Rutte said that the French, Germans and even the Dutch had tried to negotiate a certain outcome, stressing that the Bulgarians were now making efforts to take a step forward.
Of course, that should be acceptable for Macedonians as well. Nothing is ever easy in the Balkans, but here I think there is a 50-60 percent chance for a breakthrough next week, Rutte said on Thursday.