French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he would support the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania if the European Commission gave them a positive progress report in March.
Last October France blocked the opening of the negotiations with the two Balkan countries, demanding the negotiations methodology be changed first and that Skopje and Tirana do more in combating corruption.
“We are waiting for the report in March… depending on that, if the results are positive and confidence is established, then we should be in a position to open the negotiations,” Macron told the Munich Security Conference.
North Macedonia has been a membership candidate since 2005. In order to remove Greece’s blockade, it even changed its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia.
Most member states and European institutions’ leaders called the blockade of the Balkan countries a historic mistake, also because of the increasing influence of China and Russia in the Balkans.
Earlier this month, the European Commission proposed a new, stricter accession negotiations methodology, which was France’s condition for opening entry talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Current EU chair Croatia is organising an EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May at which Eastern European countries are expected to be given a clear prospect of EU membership.
ba.n1info.com / balkantimes.press
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