Gerberich: Reason for not starting negotiations didn’t lie in Skopje and Tirana but in enlargement skepticism

Германскиот амбасадор Томас Геберих

German Ambassador to Skopje Thomas Gerberich said the reason for the delay in the start of accession negotiations did not lie in North Macedonia and Albania but in enlargement skepticism.

Ambassador Gerberich told conference “Transition of Legal Systems: 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall” at the Skopje-based Faculty of Law that the 2003 Thessaloniki Summit clearly demonstrated the Western Balkans’ European perspective.

“In seems that the mood has changed in November 2019. The start of accession negotiations with the countries that have made major achievements – North Macedonia and Albania – has been once again postponed. I do not see the reason for this in the two countries, but in the strong enlargement skepticism that is currently visible among citizens of EU member-states. This prompted a response from leaders, putting the entire enlargement policy to the test,” said Gerberich.

According to him, the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia remains the essential issue for the security and stability in Europe.

“Germany will continue, as before, to support North Macedonia on its EU path. We count on the country enhancing its reforms, thus convincing doubters that its place lies in the EU,” added Ambassador Gerberich.