Borrell: Talks with North Macedonia and Albania to start tomorrow

Josep Borrell following the Foreign Affairs Council of May 10, 2021; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – EU High Representative Josep Borrell said today that the EU has unblocked the start of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and with Albania. Borrell mentioned the subject in his remarks upon arriving at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting

“This is a historic moment, after so many years of waiting with candidate status, with nothing happening, the final vote in the Parliament of North Macedonia has opened a door. And tomorrow, the Intergovernmental Conference will launch the negotiation process – a long-awaited process,” Borrell said.

He stressed that this was good news.

“We don’t have a lot of good news, this is good news. Hopefully this will increase our engagement with the Balkans,” Borrell said.

On July 16, the parliament of North Macedonia adopted conclusions approving the French proposal to open accession negotiations by 68 votes out of 120.

Already then, it was expected that the intergovernmental conference with the country would be held on July 19. The Council must first adopt the negotiating framework for North Macedonia and Albania.

A day later, a bilateral protocol between Bulgaria and North Macedonia was signed in Sofia.

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