Albania and Northern Macedonia receive EU Council approval for EU accession negotiations

Ursula von der Leien, President of the European Commission, called the agreement of the EU Ministers for European Affairs to start accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia great news for the Western Balkans and the EU.

“I am glad that the member states have given the green light to start accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia. I hope that EU leaders will support this week (this decision on 26 March during a videoconference of EU Heads of State and Government). The future of the Western Balkans is in the EU”, –  Von der Leyen tweeted.

European Ministers for European Affairs gave their political consent to start accession negotiations with both Balkan countries during a videoconference on Tuesday.

On this basis, according to the EU Council, a written procedure for the official approval of the relevant conclusions of the Council has been launched. The procedure is expected to be completed on Wednesday, 25 March.

According to the statement of the Secretary of State for European Affairs of the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council, Andreja Metelko Zgombić, who held a press conference by video link as a result of this discussion, the political agreement reached to open accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia “is recognition of the significant efforts in implementing reforms undertaken by the two countries.

Both states “have shown a clear political determination to move forward on the European path,” she said.

“The road to accession is long. But when real and sustainable progress is made in meeting the accession criteria, it brings Western Balkan partners closer to the EU”, – the Croatian diplomat said.

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