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European Western Balkans
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The Dutch Government supports opening accession talks with Skopje and Tirana

HAGUE – The Dutch Government now backs the EU accession bids of Albania and North Macedonia despite blocking negotiations for Balkan countries with France and Denmark in 2019, Exit.Albania reported. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now in favour of Albania and North Macedonia’s EU accession bids, Dutch broadcaster De Telegraafreports. In 2018, he said Albania and North Macedonia would ​​” weaken the entire Union”, citing corruption and a lack of press freedom. Skopje’s accession bid is currently held up by a veto from Bulgaria over shared language and history, while Tirana’s EU progress is tied to that of North Macedonia. In May, the European Parliament urged the European Council to begin negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia on EU membership, noting “the geostrategic context of relations with Russia and its aggression against Ukraine.”

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