Brussels must not allow the negotiating process to dominate its agenda
Giles Merritt
EU policymakers and officials are returning to their desks with a spring in their step. This summer has seen the ‘Brexit effect’ quietly gathering momentum, so much so that it's shaping into one of the most spectacular own-goals of European history, on a par with Germany's Third Reich or the Russian Revolution. Thanks to Brexit, the value of the European project is now coming into full view. For the average European, the technical details of economic integration have been invisible to the naked eye. But now, with Brexit under way, the European Union's many virtues are being laid bare for all to see.
We now have a window of opportunity but it will not stay open forever, we must continue working together
Jean-Claude Juncker
When I stood before you this time last year, I had a somewhat easier speech to give. It was plain for all to see that our Union was not in a good state. Europe was battered and bruised by a year that shook our very foundation. We only had two choices. Either come together around a positive European agenda or each retreat into our own corners.
 
H.E. Marjan Gjorcev, ambassador of Macedonia to Bulgaria
The Republic of Macedonia proclaimed its independence some 26 years ago, on 8 September 1991. It marked the realisation of a big dream, a great goal in the name of which enormous sacrifices were made – a free and independent state, the Republic of Macedonia. It came to fruition. The disintegration of the federation of Yugoslavia was a tumultuous process.
 
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