Opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

According to Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi: “Opening of accession talks sends a loud and clear message not only to the two countries, but to the Western Balkans as a whole. It reaffirms and delivers on the EU's commitment to the European perspective of the region: its present is with the EU and its future is in the EU..."

The European Commission has recently welcomed the Council's decision to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, subject to final endorsement by the European Council members.

After final endorsement by the European Council members, expected this Thursday, the Commission will submit proposals for negotiating frameworks with the two countries. These frameworks establish the guidelines and principles governing the accession negotiations with each candidate country. The Commission will begin the necessary preparatory work immediately.

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 will 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.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi further commented:"...The Commission will move quickly and propose soon the draft negotiating frameworks with the two countries integrating the elements of the revised methodology. Today's decision confirms the geostrategic importance of the Western Balkans and demonstrates that Europe is willing and able to take geopolitical decisions even in these trying times of corona virus pandemic.”

For More Information

Link to the full Council conclusions

Council and Commission statements

Factsheet EU Western-Balkans relations

Factsheet EU accession process

Factograph: Albania on its European path

Factograph: North Macedonia on its European path

Original Source Article

Country
Belgium
Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on March 30, 2020
Modified on March 30, 2020