Merkel: Chances for opening accession talks with N.Macedonia and Albania are not good

The chances of reaching a consensus at the EU Summit for opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania are not good, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Bundestag on Thursday, writes Deutsche Welle.

“We have responsibility towards these countries. I think it’s worth giving a European perspective to North Macedonia and Albania,” said Merkel.

Ahead of the start of Thursday’s EU Summit in Brussels, Chancellor Merkel addressed the Bundestag discussing, among other, the topic of EU enlargement with North Macedonia and Albania.
Merkel said that attempts have been made to reassure EU-partners who still had reservations about opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania and insist on making the process more transparent. However, she noted, the chances of reaching a consensus at the EU Summit are not good.

“Germany feels particularly close with Western Balkan countries and wants to integrate them into the EU,” the German Chancellor noted, adding that the accession of Western Balkan countries is in the interest of Germany and of the EU itself.

Merkel pointed out that EU member states must stick to the promises made to these countries because it would also bring stability and harmony to the EU.

After yesterday’s meeting with Merkel in Toulouse, French President Emmanuel Macron said that North Macedonia and Albania should be a bit more patient before getting an approval for the start of EU accession negotiations.Macron noted that North Macedonia and Albania have made significant progress in domestic reforms, adding however that this is not sufficient for the time being. On the other hand, Merkel said there is still little room for harmonization of positions until Thursday’s EU Summit.