European Western Balkans

The Netherlands opposes starting EU negotiations with Albania

Dutch Parliament; Photo: Flickr / Tweede Kamer

AMSTERDAM – Dutch Parliament voted against opening of accession negotiations between EU and Albania yesterday, while it supported starting the negotiations with North Macedonia, TV Sitel reports.

The Parliament voted yesterday for four resolutions connected with EU enlargement, but only resolution against Albania received the majority of votes, including the votes of the ruling parties.

105 out of 150 members of parliament voted “against” opening of negotiations with Tirana in 2019 due to the insufficient progress in the fight against corruption and organised crime.

The position of Dutch Parliament is shared by the Government of Netherlands. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok stated that the opening of accession negotiations would be an untimely decision.

Resolution on North Macedonia, through which several MPs also demanded blocking of accession negotiations with the country, was rejected by the Parliament.

According to the Macedonian media, this could represent the first step towards a possible “decoupling” of European integration process of North Macedonia and Albania in the Council of the European Union, if the Netherlands demands from that body to adopt such approach.

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