Macron: Unless we open up to Albania, we will cause a terrible trauma to the region

In an interview with The Economist magazine published on Thursday, President Macron said the European Union needs to reform its membership procedures before opening negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia.

If we want a strong Europe, it must move faster and be more integrated. That doesn’t coincide with the opening of an enlargement process now, Mr. Macron said.

At least, if we say ‘we will strive, invest, drive businesses forward, invest in development, culture and education’, that would make sense. But it is absurd to open a purely bureaucratic process, Mr. Macron said.

“Ask them (EU countries) tomorrow if they want to open the door to Albania. Half of them will say no. They want to open negotiations with North Macedonia, which is a small country and has changed its name, which is a real historic achievement. It doesn’t scare anyone. The truth is that unless we open up to Albania, we will cause a terrible trauma to the region. There are Albanian-speaking communities everywhere. If it humiliates Albania, then the region is irreversibly destabilized.

So my conviction is that, first, we need to reform our membership procedures, which are no longer fit for purpose, are not strategic. They are not political, they are overly bureaucratic and irreversible, while we should be able at some point to consider the issue of reversibility,”President Macron said.

President Macron said the European Union needs to reform its membership procedures before it can open negotiations.

“If we achieve this reform in the coming months, I will be ready to open negotiations if they make some additional efforts left. But I don’t want any other new member without the European Union reforming itself. For me, this is a sincere and necessary prerequisite.

/Klara Ruci/

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