European Commission calls for EU membership talks with Albania, North Macedonia

NEWS 02.03.2020 20:36
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Source: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

The European Commission on Monday commended Albania and North Macedonia for "further tangible and sustainable results" in their efforts to meet the criteria for starting membership talks with the European Union, and once more called on EU countries to open negotiations with these two Balkan countries.

The European Commission on Monday commended Albania and North Macedonia for “further tangible and sustainable results” in their efforts to meet criteria for opening the accession negotiations with the European Union.

The Commission today “presented updates on the progress made by Albania and North Macedonia in further addressing rule of law related reforms, in particular in the areas set by the Council in June 2018.”

“Both countries have delivered further tangible and sustainable results and therefore the Commission's recommendation to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia remains valid,” says the EC.

“After the February adoption of the revised methodology for the accession process, we are today presenting our updates on Albania and North Macedonia… They show that the countries stepped up their work and delivered further tangible and sustainable results in the key areas identified in the Council Conclusions of June 2018. The Commission stands firmly by its recommendations to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and I hope that EU member states will take a positive decision in the coming weeks,” European Commission's enlargement chief, Oliver Varhelyi, said.

Last October, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands blocked the opening of membership negotiations with these two countries.

Croatia, which currently holds the rotating six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU, has made starting accession talks with Tirana and Skopje a priority on the agenda, and will host a EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May.