Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva clarified the open issues that remain to stand in the way of Macedonia opening its EU accession talks after the emergency meeting in Berlin.

Bulgaria wants Macedonia to clarify that the imposed name “North Macedonia” does not reflect Macedonian territorial claims on Bulgarian land. On the thorny issue of the Macedonian language, Bulgaria offered two options – that the EU officially refers to it as the “Macedonian language, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of (North) Macedonia” – an explanation used in the 2017 Zaev – Borisov treaty, or as the Macedonian language but with an explanation declaring it as a language derived from the Bulgarian.

Bulgaria also insists that the 2017 treaty is not being honored sufficiently by Macedonia. Zaharieva said that the five historic figures which Macedonian historians agreed should be seen as also having a Bulgarian heritage are not enough. Zaharieva says that Macedonia has not popularized these decisions and has not rewritten its history books or removed plaques that declare the Bulgarian forces in World War Two as a “fascist occupier”.

And finally, Bulgaria blames Macedonia of delaying infrastructure projects and investments by Bulgarian companies.

After her emergency meeting with Macedonian diplomats Nikola Dimitrov and Bujar Osmani, convened by Germany, Zaharieva said that Bulgaria is not yet ready to allow the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia.