EP President Sassoli on Albania and North Macedonia enlargement
Statement by David Sassoli on Council Conclusions regarding enlargement
“We are deeply disappointed to see that the Council failed to agree on the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
“Both countries and their citizens have made a huge effort in order to fulfil the requirements for the start of the negotiations. This is why I expressed my firm support for the immediate opening of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania in a joint letter with Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen.
“When we call on neighbouring countries to make an extra effort to change and they do so, it is our duty to stick to our word. It will be hard to explain to the people of those countries why we are delaying the next step despite the progress that has been made.
“In a rapidly changing world, a further integration of interested and eligible candidates will help the EU to uphold its international role and protect its interests. We will continue striving for a future with Albania and North Macedonia within the European family.”
Statement by AFET Chair David McAllister on Albania and North Macedonia
Following the postponement of opening EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, Foreign Affairs Committee Chair David McAllister stated:
“This is a bad day for Europe, which was built on overcoming internal and external divisions. The European Union was not able to show leadership, courage and strategic vision. Failure to take bold decisions undermines the EU’s stability, predictability and credibility in the eyes of our partners and friends.
We have failed a test of the EU’s ability to deliver on its commitments when our partners deliver on theirs. By failing to recognise the visionary leadership and painful, in-depth reforms and to deliver on our promises, the EU risks giving up its leverage and signalling that other actors are free to pursue their agenda in the region.
Our non-decisions have failed our European friends and allies. The window of opportunity opened up by the historic Prespa agreement and judicial reforms in Albania is now closing.
Today, a small minority in the Council is responsible for the fact that Europe comes out divided, instead of advancing unity and reconciliation in the Western Balkans. These member states have also discredited the European Parliament’s position, which supports the unconditional opening of negotiations.”
Pour Juncker, bloquer les négociations d’adhésion de l’Albanie et de la Macédoine du Nord est une “erreur historique”
L’Union européenne “doit respecter ses promesses, si elle veut être respectée à travers le monde”, a déclaré vendredi le président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker, après avoir qualifié de “lourde erreur historique” le blocage de l’ouverture de négociations d’adhésion avec la Macédoine du Nord et l’Albanie. Jeudi soir, les 28 ne sont en effet pas parvenus à s’entendre afin de permettre le début de discussions avec Skopje et Tirana. La Commission européenne avait pourtant reconnu que ces deux pays étaient prêts pour entamer le long parcours d’obstacles vers l’adhésion.