European Union External Action

HRVP Josep Borrell: Green light for EU membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia is good news for the region and the EU

25/03/2020 - 21:23
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On 25 March, EU Member States agreed to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Earlier this month, the European Commission had already confirmed progress made by the two countries in its updated reports.

 

Today the Council welcomed the determination of Albania and North Macedonia to advance on the EU reform agenda. The countries have delivered tangible results, fulfilling the conditions identified by the June 2018 Council for the opening of the accession negotiations.

In light of the progress achieved on reforms and the fulfilment of the conditions set unanimously in June 2018, the Council, subject to endorsement by European Council members, decided to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell welcomed the Member States’ green light to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia as a recognition of the significant progress and the crucial reforms that the countries have undertaken. Borrell added that this is good news for both countries, the region and the entire European Union.

 

High Representative/Vice-President Borrell reiterated: “The European Union is not complete without the Western Balkans and the Member States’ decision to finally start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia is proof of the geostrategic importance of the region. It is an acknowledgment of these countries’ efforts to implement significant reforms on their accession path. This decision is even more important in these trying times, when the Western Balkans and Europe are facing the coronavirus outbreak. The European Union stands by the Western Balkans and will continue to support the region also in this difficult time.”

The first intergovernmental conferences will be convened as soon as possible, after the adoption of the negotiating frameworks by the Council.