The Macedonian language and Macedonian identity, which have been imposed as an issue by Bulgaria, should not be a topic of discussion and engagement in Brussels, and this is the only way for Macedonia to continue to talk on its European future, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Monday.

Macedonian identity, in addition to being a matter of pride, is also a matter of facts, science, tradition and national symbol of our people. It is not and will not be the subject of negotiations. European values are a guidance for us, but the protection of identity is also a European value, Prime Minister Zaev said at a meeting with EC President Ursula von der Leyen.

Zaev added that Macedonia has implemented all reforms, that their implementation is subject to several processes for the application of European standards at home and that all EU criteria for opening the membership process have been met.

At the meeting with Prime Minister Zaev, EC President Ursula von der Layen confirmed that the EC will make an even more substantial commitment because, as she said, this is a very important process that must not delay the start of Macedonia’s EU accession negotiations, and that it is committed to the two countries, Macedonia and Albania, continuing negotiations together without further delay.