European Parliament urges EU leaders to rethink decision to postpone talks with Albania and North Macedonia

European Parliament urges EU leaders to rethink decision to postpone talks with Albania and North Macedonia
By bne IntelliNews October 24, 2019

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on October 24, expressing deep disappointment over the EU failure to agree on opening EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.

During the EU summit on October 17-18, EU leaders failed to take a unanimous decision to allow the start of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, primarily due to the objection of French President Emmanuel Macron, who seeks internal EU reforms before further enlargement.

The European Parliament stressed that both countries meet the requirements to start negotiations and urged EU countries to act responsibly towards Skopje and Tirana and take a unanimous positive decision at the next meeting.

The resolution was adopted by 412 votes in favour, 136 against and 30 abstentions.

MEPs regret the move by France, Denmark and the Netherlands to block the decision and say that Albania and North Macedonia have made considerable efforts over the last few years and now meet the EU’s criteria to start membership talks, according to the resolution.

MEPs praised North Macedonia’s efforts to solve difficult bilateral issues with its neighbouring countries and also welcomed recent judiciary reforms in Albania.

For the European Parliament the “non-decision” by EU leaders is a strategic mistake, which damages the EU’s credibility and sends a negative message to other possible candidate countries.

It could also allow other foreign actors - whose activity might not be in line with EU values and interests - to engage more closely with both Albania and North Macedonia, MEPs added.

MEPs underlined that the reform of the enlargement process, sought by some countries, should not hinder the launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.



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