Still unknown whether Macron and Merkel discussed North Macedonia’s date for start of EU talks

President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met on Sunday evening in Paris to have a working dinner and to discuss, amongst other things, the opening of EU negotiations with North Macedonia. Start of accession talks has been already approved by the Bundestag recently.

Macron and Merkel’s working dinner is mainly focused on preparations for the upcoming joint meeting of the governments of France and Germany in Toulouse ahead of the EU summit in Brussels. Many open issues are on the menu, namely Brexit, the appointment of European Commission members and the Turkish military intervention in Syria.

The two leaders ahead of their dinner started discussing Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria. “We both wish for the offensive to stop. We’re confident that the offensive risks the creation of an unsustainable humanitarian situation that could help IS re-emerge in the region,” Macron has stated. Saying she had spoken to Turkey’s President, Merkel also pledged for an end to the Turkish invasion, citing humanitarian crisis.

Macron urged for coordination calling on all Europeans to unite in the difficult and challenging times for the continent.

The two leaders did not comment whether they discussed North Macedonia’s accession negotiations date at their meeting in Paris.

According to diplomatic sources in Brussels, France is the only EU country that advises against the opening of talks because ‘North Macedonia hasn’t met the necessary conditions.’ Because of its stance, many EU diplomats have been accusing Paris of trying to jeopardize stability in the Balkans.