Interviews and Speeches

Interview of MFA Nikola Dimitrov for „BBC World Services“
Journalist: Dan Damon
Date: 7 September 2017
Link: (as of 19’53’’):

BBC world service

Dan Damon: “Some countries are currently on the process of trying to join the great European project, I spoke to the Foreign Minister of one the hopeful six, he’s Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.

Nikola Dimitrov: “It’s a family of nations that share values, rule of law, good governance, and free media. For us it is what we would like to be, how we would like to be. They are by and large prosperous nations, and we believe that prosperity comes with democracy and the rule of law. We believe that at the time where the world is getting more interconnected so to speak smaller, it makes sense for all of us to be Europe, if we want to remain relevant globally. None of the big global challenges such as climate change, terrorism, ageing of population, migration crisis, can be dealt by one nation on a national level. And in the specific context of the Balkans, we only have two scenarios: one is the European agenda, borders don’t matter that much, we are all similar in terms of values how our societies are set up; the other alternative is back to the debates about ethnicities and borders and we don’t think we should go in that direction, we saw what happened in the 1990s, Macedonia was not part of it but that’s the only alternative. So we need to use the European process in terms of transforming our societies to become like the rest of the member states. We would like to be a bit more like some of them, less like the others but I won’t tell names (who they are).

Dan Damon: “What would Macedonia bring to the EU, actually?”

Nikola Dimitrov: First, the new crisis-born resolve to actually make it. Makes Macedonia an opportunity for Europe to say that perhaps enlargement actually works. It can transform societies. And at the time when Europe is lacking in self-confidence, maybe this is a region where it can make a real difference: to show to itself and to the world that it can do things, it can resolve problems and it can also propel a positive dynamic. And that is the dynamic of Macedonia today.

Dan Damon: “And how are the accession talks going actually?”

Nikola Dimitrov: “We’ve been in the waiting room for 12 years. Macedonia became a candidate country in 2005, so there is a lesson here what could happen with the region if we’re being kept on the margins of political attention, because we are not exactly on the margins geographically.