Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Meleșcanu believes that the EU should prove its commitment to Macedonia and Albania by starting accession talks with the two countries.
Meleșcanu presented the priorities of the Romanian EU presidency for the next six months before the members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. Foreign policy, enlargement to the Western Balkans and relations with its eastern neighbors are at the top of the list for Bucharest.
In that context, Meleșcanu reminded that after the launch of a prospect for a date for negotiations with Macedonia and Albania, the EU should now show its commitment to these countries and start negotiations with these two countries. He expressed the hope that the necessary efforts will be made to achieve this goal.
– We are at the turning point of the enlargement process towards the Western Balkans, the minister said, reminiscent of the last year’s European Commission’s strategy for enlargement and the June General Affairs Council, which provided conditioned dates for negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
We hope that our support together with the responsibility of our partners in the process and tangible results in the reforms will create a positive atmosphere for opening negotiations with FYROM and Albania, Meleșcanu said.
According to diplomatic sources in the EU, Romania intends to make special efforts to convince countries that are hardest to oppose the opening of negotiations with Skopje and Tirana, such as France and the Netherlands.
Meleșcanu added that the Romanian presidency will continue to support negotiation processes with Serbia-Montenegro and called for “special attention” from the EU for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Romania wants to focus on regional cooperation in the Western Balkans, and to focus on youth in the region, the minister said.
Turkey, said Meleșcanu, remains a strategic partner for the EU and communication channels with this country should remain open. He did not mention freezing or blocking negotiations with Ankara and recalled that she remains a candidate country for membership in the European Union.