- EU Council Delays Start of Accession Talks With Albania, North Macedonia - Commissioner
EU Council Delays Start Of Accession Talks With Albania, North Macedonia - Commissioner
The Council of the European Union decided at its meeting on Tuesday to postpone the launch of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania and will revert to this issue no later than October, European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said
"We saw today a confirmation that the European Union, as a whole, backs the European perspective of the Western Balkans ... Nevertheless, in this light, it is unfortunate that minority of member states were not able to support the commission's clear proposal to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia already today," the commissioner told reporters after the General Affairs Council meeting.
"In light of the limited time available and the importance of the matter, the Council will revert to the issue with a view to reaching a clear and substantive decision as soon as possible and no later than October 2019," the document said.
In June 2018, the EU Council ruled that before accession talks Albania and North Macedonia needed to carry out reforms in crucial areas. Last month, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini positively assessed the countries' progress and recommended that the council open accession talks.
The European Union has granted four Western Balkan states the status of an official EU candidate Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Each of them now is to negotiate the terms of accession and align their domestic legislation with EU law before joining.