TIRANA, March 24
The European Union (EU) could start membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia if the 27 member countries finalize a draft decision this week, Reuters reported on Monday.
According to Reuters, if approved as expected, the agreement would end two years of delays and signal new momentum for all six Western Balkan countries, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
In early March, the European Commission presented updates on the progress by highlighting that Albania and North Macedonia stepped up their work. Based on the report, both countries made enough progress and delivered results to starting accession negotiations.
It seems that the update report convinced France and the Netherlands to lift opposition to the opening of accession negotiations.
French President Emmanuel Macron said during the annual Munich Security Conference held in mid-February: “We have to see what the Commission is going to say about the state of the expected progress,” he added and, “if the results are positive and confidence is established, we then we should be able to open negotiations.”
“I don’t think what is happening (with coronavirus) is going to alter the decision of the member states,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Friday.