Ahead of the European Council meeting, the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament are calling on the Council to open EU accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Reinhard Bütikofer, Greens/EFA Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, comments:
“The European Council must give the green light to the opening of the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. The credibility of the EU is at stake if the decision about these two countries is once again postponed. The EU membership perspective for the Western Balkans countries has played a fundamental role for the stability of the whole region.
"North Macedonia and Albania made enormous efforts to follow the reform process outlined together with the EU. The EU must now deliver on its promises. A further postponement of both decisions threatens the reputation and the leverage of the EU in a region that is becoming an area of competition with many other actors.”
Viola von Cramon, Greens/EFA Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and shadow rapporteur on the Instrument for Pre-Accession III, comments:
“North Macedonia has become a model on how to solve bilateral issues with neighbouring countries in a peaceful way. The agreement reached in Prespa with Greece in June 2018, which follows the bilateral agreement with Bulgaria, is a landmark agreement that gives a vital boost to the stability of the whole region. Further to this, North Macedonia has undertaken deep reforms to support and consolidate its democratic institutions. The opening of negotiations will strengthen all those who strive for dialogue and reconciliation both inside and outside the country. Missing again a decision on the opening of negotiations bolsters all the nationalist milieus in both North Macedonia and Greece that are trying to put into question the Prespa agreement.”
“The reform of the judiciary undertaken by the Albanian government proves that reforms are possible if the EU shows leadership. Turning a blind eye on the efforts made adds only to the growing frustration of the Albanian society towards the EU."