German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged North Macedonia’s leaders Thursday to deliver on a pledge to amend the constitution to speed up the country's path toward European Union membership.

North Macedonia has promised neighboring Bulgaria, an EU member since 2007, to add a reference in its constitution to the existence of an ethnic Bulgarian minority. In exchange, Bulgaria would lift objections to the start of EU membership talks for North Macedonia. But the amendment needs votes in parliament from the conservative opposition, which is publicly opposed to the change.

“Now that the constitution must be changed, I can only encourage you to do so. If you don’t want your young people to go to Europe, you have to bring Europe here,” Baerbock told reporters after talks with North Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani.

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