The United States supports North Macedonia and Albania’s commitment to Transatlantic integration and aspirations to join the European Union. We are disappointed the European Council did not recognize each country’s very strong reform efforts by agreeing to open accession negotiations at this time. A positive decision would have reaffirmed the credibility of their EU path and firmly pushed back against malign external actors, who seek to undermine Western values and the Euro-Atlantic community. We recognize that the European Council did not say “no” to either Albania or North Macedonia, nor did the EU establish new conditions for the opening of accession negotiations. We hope that the European Council will reach a consensus on a positive decision for both countries well in advance of the EU-Western Balkans Summit next May.
The United States will remain a strategic partner of North Macedonia and Albania as they continue their work to strengthen the rule of law, further anti-corruption efforts, develop their economies, and fight organized crime. We encourage both countries to remain steadfast in building a transparent, rules-based, democratic society responsive to citizen needs. The United States will continue working with European partners to advance shared goals of stability and security in the Western Balkans./ibna