PES welcomes the ratification of the Prespa agreement

25/01/2019

Image: PES President Sergei Stanishev with prime ministers Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras

PES President Sergei Stanishev with prime ministers Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras

The Party of European Socialists warmly welcomes today’s ratification of the Prespa agreement by the Greek parliament to bring a long-running dispute between Greece and FYR of Macedonia to an end.

The Parliament in Athens today ratified the agreement signed by the governments of Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, clearing the path for the Republic of North Macedonia to begin talks on EU and NATO membership. The historic moment follows a corresponding vote in the parliament in Skopje earlier this month.

The PES commends both governments and parliaments for their efforts to overcome decades of historic resentment between the two countries.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

"We are proud that this historic agreement, reached between prime ministers Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, has been finally ratified by all sides. This is a clear proof of how countries can put decades-long arguments behind them.

“Today’s vote is a positive step forward for both countries, a victory for democracy, and a clear sign of what progressive politics can achieve. This agreement opens the door for the Republic of North Macedonia to start accession talks with NATO and the EU, and contributes to the stability of the Balkans. The future of the European project is stronger because of today’s vote.”

The PES is proud to have been part of the entire process, facilitating a series of meetings between Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev during PES European Council preparation meetings. The deal also received support and encouragement from all PES prime ministers during the EU-Western Balkans summit in May last year.