EC says it aims to open accession talks with Albania, N. Macedonia in March

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 17, 2020 10:58

EC says it aims to open accession talks with Albania, N. Macedonia in March

Story Highlights

  • Last October, the leaders of the member states failed to reach a consensus on a positive decision for Albania and Northern Macedonia, thanks to France's insistence on the need to revisit the entire process of negotiations and enlargement itself.

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TIRANA, Jan. 16 – The European Commission aims to open accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia in March, according to local media reports. 

While on an official visit in Tirana, Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi said during a press conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama that “the previous report of the Commission on Albania remains valid, a place ready to initiate talks and we are working to make this a reality before the Zagreb Summit,” he said, speaking about the event which is to take place in May.

Last October, the leaders of the member states failed to reach a consensus on a positive decision for Albania and Northern Macedonia, thanks to France’s insistence on the need to revisit the entire process of negotiations and enlargement itself. “With the methodology we will create a new approach based on four principles. First, the processes are more reliable, more political, more predictable, and for me it is a priority to make it more dynamic. We are drafting a proposal that will take these things into account, “Mr. Varhelyi explained, stating that” I am talking to member states to convince them that with this new methodology we will be able to agree on the start of negotiations. “

For Rama “what constitutes a reason to feel encouraged is the Commissioner’s approach to the need, but also to the conditions, to adopt and accept together a more appropriate methodology as a result of which to think reasonable and to involve France in continuing the process.” 

Rama and the European Commissioner then visited several areas in the city of Durres hit by the November 26 earthquake. 

The European Commission has given a first aid of 15 million euros, and on 17 February will organize a major donor’s conference. 

“We will stand by Albania and continue to help. We hope that the donors’ conference will produce very good results. We will speak with member states and international financial organizations to make their contribution,” Varhelyi said, while announcing that “in relation to the work done so far, from pre-accession funds, I have the opportunity from the budgetary authority to give 28 million euros for the so-called “performance reward”. 

The approval belongs to the European Parliament, which “has a certain process, a procedure to follow, but we have already submitted a proposal to the EP and I believe everything will go on very soon,” said Commissioner Varhelyi.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times January 17, 2020 10:58