EU ministers fail to reach decision on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania

EU ministers fail to reach decision on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania

EU ministers failed to reach a decision to approve the opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, Finnish EU Affairs Minister Tytti Tuppurainen told a news conference Tuesday in Luxembourg after a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Outgoing EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that it was not a moment of glory for Europe, referring to the General Affairs Council meeting. He added that a majority of EU members had backed the recommendation for start of negotiations with the two countries.

“There is no doubt that any further postponement would damage our credibility in the Western Balkans and also our ambitions to become a stronger global player,” Hahn stated.

Three countries, namely France, Germany and Italy, oppose the latest proposal on ‘decoupling’ the two countries and starting negotiations with North Macedonia first.

France objects because it doesn’t want more countries to be admitted before the negotiating process is reformed, whereas Germany and Italy are concerned that Albania might be ‘endlessly’ stuck in EU’s waiting room if negotiations are launched only with North Macedonia./ibna