EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn spoke today from Brussels on the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Mr. Hahn said that a decision was not reached regarding the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia this summer, stressing out that the EU needs more time to evaluate EC recommendations.
“I want to thank the Romanian presidency. There have been successful attempts. As a matter of fact, we have made progress. We are not where we want but we have made progress. The Council has said that integration into the EU is very important. We hope that these Western Balkan countries will be integrated into the EU. There are some countries that are unwilling to accept the opening of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, but the EC thinks these countries should be rewarded. It is not only in the interest of these six Western Balkan countries but also in our interest. It is very important to cooperate with these countries to improve the conditions. All of these are based on individual merits. Enlargement affects peace, stability in the region, therefore it is an investment for them, yet a decision has not been reached to deal with the opening of the negotiations. They demand more time for our recommendations to make their assessment, “Hahn said.
“We hope for a final decision in October,” said Commissioner Hahn.