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Bulgaria Opens Door to Unblocking Balkan EU Accession Talks

  • Lawmakers let premier lift an accession veto under conditions
  • Bulgaria has blocked neighbor in clash over history, language
The Bulgarian Parliament building in Sofia.

The Bulgarian Parliament building in Sofia.

Photographer: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

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Bulgaria approved a mechanism aimed at unblocking the European Union’s enlargement plan in the Balkans, although it has already met with rejection from its neighbor North Macedonia.

Lawmakers voted 170-37 on Friday, giving outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s government a mandate to approve an EU proposal to start negotiations with North Macedonia. If those talks happen, the EU may also start deliberations with Albania, another candidate.