BRUSSELS – General Affairs Council of the EU gave a green light to the opening of EU accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania in today’s video-conference.
Standing Rapporteur of the European Parliament for North Macedonia, Ilhan Kyuchyuk stated that the decision on North Macedonia and Albania shows that Europe can take decisions in times of crisis.
“The European Council finally succeeded to give an answer to the expectations of the Western Balkan countries and their citizens, who have been waiting long for something positive to happen. This act is even more significant now. Not because we overcame the disappointment of the Council’s decision in October, but because Europe and the world are currently in an unprecedented situation”, MEP Ilhan Kyuchyuk pointed out.
Isabel Santos, Standing rapporteur of the EP for Albania highlighted that this was a very important decision by the European Council.
“The political agreement to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia is a deserved conclusion of all the reforms already made by these countries. West Balkans are in our minds and belong in the EU“, wrote Santos on Twitter.
“Very important decision by the @EUCouncil. The political agreement to open accession talks with #Albania and #NorthMacedonia is a deserved conclusion of all the reforms already made by these countries. West Balcans are in our minds and belong in the #EU” #isabelsantosmep
— Isabel Santos MEP (@isabel_mep) March 24, 2020
The adopted Council decision sets out the conditions that the two countries need to meet before the convening of the so-called “intergovernmental conferences” which formally start the negotiations. Emphasis is also placed on the new methodology which should be used for the negotiation process. According to the document, EU enlargement will be “subject to stronger political steering, based on objective criteria and conditions, as well as reversibility of the whole process”.