Austrian media says there will be no opening of negotiations for Albania in June

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 4, 2019 07:53

Austrian media says there will be no opening of negotiations for Albania in June

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  • The main countries opposing the opening of accession negotiations for Albania are France and the Netherlands. While France's decision reflects its position in principle against further EU enlargement until the EU has reformed itself, the Netherlands' refusal concerns the failure to meet the conditions from Albania and North Macedonia.

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TIRANA, June 4 – Austrian newspaper Die Presse in a recent article announced that some of the EU member states will formally refuse to open negotiations with Albania and northern Macedonia.

According to the newspaper, ambassadors of accredited member countries to the European Union, will meet tomorrow in Brussels with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn to make the decision known.

This means that the EU will formally refuse to open negotiations, as unanimous decision by all member states will have to be approved for the opening.

The main countries opposing the opening of accession negotiations for Albania are France and the Netherlands. While France’s decision reflects its position in principle against further EU enlargement until the EU has reformed itself, the Netherlands’ refusal concerns the failure to meet the conditions from Albania and North Macedonia.

De Presse also reaffirms the strong attitude of the Netherlands to ban visa-free travel for Albania, because visa-free travel has provided freedom of organized crime by Albanian citizens in the Netherlands, where Albanians are among the main groups trafficking drugs.

Denmark and Germany are also against the opening of negotiations.

Denmark is mainly opposed to the EU principle of enlargement, while the Danish political stance on immigration has become more and more constrained.

The German government has its hands tied to vote for the opening of negotiations due to the Bundestag’s refusal to review the European Commission’s progress reports before September, along with the EC’s recommendation to open negotiations with the two countries made public last week of May.

The newspaper notes that in Brussels there exists a general suspicion regarding the commitment and determination of Albania and North Macedonia towards democracy and the rule of law.

Member States’ stance seems to be tougher to Albania because of the state of crime in the country and the government’s failure to combat it.

Der Press quotes a European diplomat commenting:

“Look at the protests in Albania and how the government reacts: did it make any effort at all? Let’s not forget that the Commission has warned two or three years ago about organized crime and its state seizure.”

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 4, 2019 07:53