EC: Albania to make further progress on elections and judiciary before its first ICG

Flags of Albania and EU; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – European Commission welcomed the political agreement in the Council to support opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, adding that the positive decision of the European Council (heads of state and government) is expected on Thursday.

The next step is for the Commission to draft negotiating positions for the two countries, and the preparatory work will begin immediately, the statement reads. The Council will have to adopt these two documents as well, after which the first intergovernmental conferences (ICGs) can take place.

“The first intergovernmental conferences should be convened as soon as possible after the adoption of the negotiating frameworks by the Council. Prior to its first intergovernmental conference, Albania is called on to make further progress on electoral and judicial reforms and in the fight against organised crime and corruption. Tackling the phenomenon of unfounded asylum seekers and amending the media law also remain important priorities. The Commission will report on these issues when presenting the negotiating framework for Albania”, the Commission states.

It will also continue to monitor the progress and continued compliance of both countries in all areas of the conditions identified by the Council in June 2018 related to the opening of negotiations and to carry out and complete the process of analytical examination of the EU acquis with the two countries, starting with the fundamentals’ cluster.