“For the first time we have discussed a time frame and the steps that should follow if a solution is reached, i.e. how it would look like and be implemented. This was a frank conversation, with great understanding of the needs of each other. The main challenge is how to compile the most serious concerns of both sides and find the mechanism that will provide us with this.

This was stated at a press conference held by Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias at a government villa, in Ohrid, and it was stressed that some of the issues are progressing and some are ready for completion.The Greek foreign minister said progress has been made.

At today’s (April 12) meetings of the working groups, the agenda for the future cooperation has already been coordinated, Dimitrov said.” (Meta)

“The European Commission will recommend that the European Union opens accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia, according to a draft document seen by RFE/RL.

The document is part of the annual EU enlargement package that is set to be published on April 17 in Strasbourg and which outlines how far the non-EU countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey have come on their road to European Union membership.

The European Commission has recommended commencing negotiations with Macedonia every year since 2009, but EU member states in the council — most notably, Greece — have always blocked talks due to the name issue, which has soured relations between Athens and Skopje ever since Macedonia became independent in 1991.” (RFE/RL)

Newly Appointed Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen was in Macedonia this past week on her first trip as the head of the organization. She met with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and immersed herself in Macedonian culture on the trip. She visited Volunteers across the country, learned traditional Macedonian dance (oro), tasted fine cuisine, and experienced Macedonian hospitality first hand. You can read more about her trip on Peace Corps Macedonia’s Facebook page.