The European Parliament has addressed the issue of the first intergovernmental conferences with Albania and North Macedonia in the EU foreign policy orientation documents. In the first weeks of this year the document oriented towards the positioning of the EU as an "elected partner" in a changing geopolitical order, European lawmakers appeal for the holding of the first intergovernmental conferences with Albania and North Macedonia, following the decision on the opening of accession talks with both countries.
The policy-oriented document reinforces the commitment to enlargement as a key EU transformation policy and welcomes the methodology reviewed by the Commission and its stronger emphasis on the political nature of the enlargement process. Expressing support for the European perspective for the Western Balkan countries, the reconfirmation of the clear support of the EU Member States for this perspective, from the Zagreb Declaration of May 6, 2020 and the decision to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, turns to the European Council to speed up the process.
Parliament calls on the Council and the Commission to start intergovernmental conferences with these two countries without delay and more generally to speed up the accession process, as the countries of the Western Balkans are geographically, historically and culturally part of Europe. He underlined that the integration of these countries into the EU is essential for the stability and security of the continent as a whole, as well as for the EU's influence in the region and beyond.
While urging Bulgaria, in particular, to stop opposing the opening of an intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia, parliament also reminds reform-minded countries to seek sustainable results.