European Western Balkans

Poznań Summit participants: EU should open negotiations with Skopje and Tirana in October

City of Poznań; Photo: Pixabay

POZNAŃ – EU leaders should keep its promise and reach a positive decision on opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania – this has been one of the main messages from the meeting that finishes today.

Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev stated that this would confirm EU’s credibility in the region and would serve as a message to candidate countries to carry on with the reforms that will bring them closer towards European standards, as well as bringing prosperity, democracy and stability to the region, Plusinfo reports.

He added that the EU reforms can go hand in hand with accepting Western Balkan countries.

On behalf of Albania, similar message was sent by Acting Foreign Minister Gent Cakaj.

Attending the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkan States with the Ministers of the EU Member States, Cakaj urged the participating countries to express their readiness to support the opening of the negotiations with Albania, Radio Tirana International writes.

He also used the opportunity to stress the importance of the Berlin Process, with the initiatives such as RYCO and the Western Balkans Fund, which are, according to him, having a very positive impact on the Balkan inter-ethnic reconciliation process.

European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn also expressed hope that the accession talks will be opened.

“I support the recommendation made by the European Commission for the opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and I hope that the EU Council will approve our positive evaluation in October”, said Hahn, per RTI.

He reminded that both countries have implemented the required reforms for advancing to the next stage of the process.

Representing the host country, President of Poland Andrzej Duda made similar remarks.

“European Union should not treat these countries this way at the moment when they are implementing difficult reforms aimed at the success of future integration”, stated Duda during the Summit.

Poland was one of the 13 EU members, mostly form Central and Eastern Europe, to propose an initiative for opening of negotiations with Skopje and Tirana in June.

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