Top EU officials say it’s time to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

Top EU officials say it’s time to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia
By bne IntelliNews October 3, 2019

EU leaders said on October 3 that now is the "time to start accession talks" with North Macedonia and Albania after both countries did what were asked to do by the European Commission.

The EU decision is expected on October 15-17.

The joint statement was issued by outgoing President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, his successor Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Council President Donald Tusk and head of the European Parliament David Sassoli.

“If the EU is to uphold its international role and protect its interests, taking a step towards integrating those European countries that have expressed an interest and have fulfilled the requirements for starting the accession process will help achieve this,” the statement said.

The four leaders underlined that there will be a lot of hard work on reforms along the way and that membership will not happen overnight, but that both countries are aware of this.

In June, the European Council delayed the decision to launch membership talks with Skopje and Tirana but said they will go back to the issue no later than in October. North Macedonia has been a candidate country since 2005 and Albania since 2014.

On September 26, the German parliament gave the green light for launching EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

The decision by the German parliament is a major but not decisive step for both countries to obtain a date for the launch of EU accession talks, as France, the Netherlands and Denmark remain major critics of the enlargement process.

Related Articles

Police in Albania and Italy smash international drug trafficking group

Law enforcers in Albania and Italy have arrested 37 members of an organised criminal group that trafficked large quantities of illegal drugs, said the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice ... more

France’s Voltalia wins €100mn photovoltaic tender in Albania

French renewables company Voltalia has won a tender for the construction of the 140 MW Karavasta photovoltaic park in southern Albania worth €100mn, Albanian PM Edi Rama announced on May 27. The ... more

Azerbaijani gas reaches Albania as TAP project moves nearer to EU deliveries

The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project—the last pipeline link required for Azerbaijan to meet its ambition of exporting natural gas to the European Union—has started introducing its ... more

Dismiss