European Western Balkans

Tusk, Juncker, von der Leyen and Sassoli: It is time to open accession negotiations

European Council meeting; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – Whether the EU decides to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania is a test of its ability to deliver on its promises, wrote President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the EC Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Parliament David Sassoli in a joint letter released yesterday.

“North Macedonia and Albania did what we asked them to do. Achieving that required significant effort from their citizens, for whom the European perspective has been a great source of motivation and determination”, wrote the heads of the EU’s most important institutions.

They added that the membership will not happen overnight and that there will be a lot of hard work on reforms along the way.

However, according to the letter, the EU should take a step towards integrating those European countries that have expressed an interest and fulfilled all requirements for starting the accession process if it wants to uphold its international role and protect its interests.

“We believe that now is the time to open accession negotiations with both countries”, the letter concludes.

Decision on opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania will be made at the European Council meeting on 17 and 18 October. German Parliament supported both countries last week.

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