European Union External Action

Diplomacy and dialogue achieve win-win solution for Skopje and Athens, as historic agreement on name issue is signed

17/06/2018 - 16:37
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In the presence of their Prime Ministers as well as high-level representatives of the European Union and the United Nations, Foreign Ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias signed today at the Prespa Lake the agreement resolving the name issue, following 25 years of diplomatic negotiations between the two countries.

“Skopje and Athens make us all Europeans proud of the capacity to find through diplomacy and dialogue a win-win solution for a problem that was long-standing for too many decades,” High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said today after the signing ceremony. “It makes Europe more peaceful, more united, and that also opens the way for the entire region of the Balkans to live in a different kind of atmosphere.”

High Representative Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn attended the ceremony upon the invitation of Prime Ministers Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev. They both praised the commitment, courage and leadership the two sides have invested in this process.

High Representative today stressed the European Union would continue with all the instruments and unity to accompany the process, which had resulted in a historical breakthrough and should contribute to the transformation of the entire region of South-East Europe.

“Then of course we have to take the next steps [with Skopje], because while today is the end of a journey, it is also the beginning of a new one, leading to the European integration,” Commissioner Hahn said, highlighting that the clear Euro-Atlantic perspective was something the citizens deserved.