Today the General Affairs Council is likely to decide to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, a decision that has been long awaited in the region. As both countries have presented significant democractic reforms, it is now crucial for the EU to move forward. The European Greens have long called for the EU accession process to start with these two countries. The strong pro-European sentiment among these countries and their demonstrated and successful efforts to implement meaningful reforms must be taken into account by EU member states.
Albania has met all necessary criteria since 2018 and has carried out one of the most far-reaching judicial reforms to get to the point it is at now. North Macedonia has delivered tangible and sustainable results in key areas, such as the judicial reforms, high corruption cases, security reforms, and public administration reforms. North Macedonia has made extraordinary efforts to open the door to Europe by concluding bilateral agreements with Bulgaria and in particular the historic Prespa Agreement with Greece. Failing to start the accession process now will send the wrong message and will result in a weakening of the strong pro-European movements in the Western Balkans.
Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the European Green Party and MEP comments:
“The EU accession negotiations are a driving force for the further development of the rule of law in key areas such as media and press freedom, human rights and the fight against corruption. This is important not only for securing peace in the region, but also for the EU's foreign and security policy.
The only reasonable course of action for the EU now is to answer the expectations of citizens in Albania and North Macedonia. These expectations are of a European future.”
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