German Chancellor Angela Merkel said no to the European Commission’s desire to give North Macedonia a date for opening EU accession negotiations, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” newspaper writes, Deutsche Welle in Macedonian reported.

Citing its own unnamed sources, the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” writes that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made it clear at a session of the Bundestag European Policy Committee that a decision on a date for North Macedonia to start EU accession negotiations could be adopted “in October at the earliest”. 

With that, the Chancellor stood clear against her coalition partner – the SPD, which advocates for voting (for a date to be adopted) in the European Council on June 18. The state minister (in the German Foreign Ministry) Michael Roth of the SPD at the European Policy Committee on Tuesday categorically advocated for the start of accession talks, but that was not the case with the CDU and the CSU. Macedonia reached an agreement with Greece to change its name, among other things, to pave the way for EU accession talks, according to the influential “Süddeutsche Zeitung” newspaper.

Macedonia’s EU integration sparked Thursday a heated debate at the plenary session of the Bundestag, which was actually dedicated to the ratification of the NATO accession protocol. Lawmakers voted with a majority in favor of Macedonia’s accession to the alliance, but they failed to agree on the date for EU accession talks.