Dutch Parliament in favor of separating North Macedonia and Albania, but won’t veto

Dutch Parliament in favor of separating North Macedonia and Albania, but won’t veto

The Committee on European Affairs of the Dutch Parliament agreed Tuesday that Albania and North Macedonia’s European prospects should be discussed separately at the meeting of the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg October 15, before the European Council makes a final decision October 18.

Foreign Minister Stef Blok reiterated the government’s attitude that starting negotiations with Albania at this point would prove to be too soon. However, if all other member states vote to open accession talks, the Netherlands will not veto the decision. Dutch MPs now need to develop a joint position on the issue.

The Dutch Ministry of Interior reiterated the government’s stance that candidate countries need to meet all conditions before opening negotiation talks.

The Netherlands congratulated candidate countries on the progress they have made, but pointed out that they should be judged separately, based on their own merit.

In regards to North Macedonia, the Dutch government said that the Prespa Agreement is an example in the region. They also praised the fact that cases of the Special Public Prosecution will resume after having been transferred to the regular public prosecution. An important step that should be made involves the adoption of a law guaranteeing independent prosecution of possible high-level corruption in the future./ibna