The EU Council was not able on Tuesday to decide on the start of negotiations on joining the community of Albania and Northern Macedonia, now the EU leaders will discuss the issue at the summit on October 17-18 in Brussels. This was announced at the end of the meeting of the EU Council by the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn.
“The decision to start negotiations was not made. Now the leaders will discuss this issue at the summit, I remain optimistic, I believe that EU leaders will correct this decision,” he said. “We must be consistent. The two countries have fulfilled their obligations, now we must fulfill their”.
As Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister of European Affairs, presiding over the EU Council of Finland, noted in her turn, “even the opening of negotiations does not mean that these countries will become EU members immediately, it may take years.” She assured that the Finnish Chairmanship and the European Commission “did everything possible to reach an agreement on the start of consultations, but no agreement has been reached so far.”
According to European sources, the opening of negotiations on the entry of Albania and Northern Macedonia was blocked by France and the Netherlands. Earlier on Tuesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said: “Each country needs to be judged by its own merits. Both countries have already done a lot, but Northern Macedonia still needs to pass an independent prosecutor’s law. If this is done, negotiations can begin. Regarding Albania, we believe that additional work must still be done on her part. ”
In early October, the heads of all EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council – called for negotiations to begin admitting Albania and Northern Macedonia. However, most Western European community members, in particular France and the Netherlands, oppose the start of consultations this year and intend to block the adoption of this decision by the EU Council.
Both countries have already been recognized as official candidates for joining the community, which will not allow the European Union to refuse to accept them, but the negotiation process itself may allow delaying this point for a long time if the opposition is strong enough. For example, negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the EU officially began in the fall of 2005, but this country has no chance of joining the community today.
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