Ministers of European affairs give the green light to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania
Today, State Secretary Gašper Dovžan participated in a videoconference of the EU General Affairs Council where ministers voiced their unanimous support for starting the EU accession negotiation process with North Macedonia and Albania.
The main topic on the agenda was the enlargement of the EU. Ministers and state secretaries exchanged views on the launch of the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. All Member States unanimously supported this proposal and called on the European Commission to start drafting and coordinating the documents needed for promptly convening the first intergovernmental conference on each of the two countries.
State Secretary Dovžan stressed the “importance of today’s unanimous decision which the Member States will formalise by carrying out a written procedure. The Council of the EU will adopt conclusions to formally launch the negotiation process.” He went on to state that “this step is an important political signal to the countries of the region indicating a path to EU membership. It also maintains the credibility of the EU and reaffirms its capacity to function and reach vital decisions even during the current crisis.”
The European Commission will continue to regularly inform Member States of the expected progress of North Macedonia and Albania in the negotiation process.
In the discussion, State Secretary Dovžan also underlined the “importance of the EU’s continued practical engagement with regard to the remaining outstanding regional issues and closing the region’s developmental gap.” He particularly stressed the need for the EU’s assistance to the countries of the region to be able to cope with the economic ramifications of the coronavirus epidemics.
The participants in the videoconference also exchanged views and information on the action taken with regard to the coronavirus. They agreed that the measures adopted by Member States and by the EU must be complementary, efficient and taken in the spirit of solidarity and EU values.