Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is now claiming that he has the arguments on his side to persuade French President Emmanuel Macron to lift his veto on the opening of EU accession talks. In an interview, Zaev announced that this will be his strategy after the humiliating defeat in Brussels, where France blocked Macedonia and Albania, citing the need to reform both the EU and the enlargement process first.

We are not just a strategic interest, we are Europe. There will certainly be a number of years while we negotiate all the chapters. That means we will only become a full EU member state after we have thoroughly reformed on the inside, and the accession process will help us in that regard, Zaev said in a statement that is being shared by his PR department.