A few days before the crucial referendum on the approval of the agreement of Prespes by the citizens of FYROM, the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev addressed the Plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, stressing that this was an “historical moment for the people of Macedonia”, since that was the first time a Prime Minister of FYROM had addressed the European Parliament.

Mr. Zaev’s speech was warmly welcomed by all groups of the European Parliament, except for a few far-right MEPs. The Prime Minister presented the situation in his country and underlined that “this is the best opportunity ever given to FYROM for its accession to the EU and NATO, and we are not going to miss it.”

Regarding the naming dispute in particular, Mr. Zaev said that this was one of the main problems, as its resolution was a precondition for the negotiations for FYROM’s accession to NATO and the EU to start. He concluded saying that there is a strong consensus in FYROM regarding the country’s prospects within NATO, and added that over 75% of FYROM’s population supports the accession to the EU.