While Albania and North Macedonia are just days ahead of the decision to start talks with the EU, the United States, France and the Netherlands have called on the union to set a date for the opening of negotiations with the two countries. The decision has created the least surprise, as both countries have been at the forefront of skeptical countries that have delayed the opening of EU negotiations with the two Balkan countries. The latest to react after the Netherlands and France was US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who stressed in a Twitter post that Washington supports the opening of EU accession negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania without delay.
"We support the opening of EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania without delay. "We are engaging at the highest levels of government to demonstrate our commitment to the integration of the two countries in the Balkans," Price wrote on Twitter.
The General Affairs Council of the European Union will convene on 22 June and the issue of the first intergovernmental conference with Albania and North Macedonia will be on the agenda. The EC assessed that both countries were ready to move to the next stage, but Bulgaria's veto on North Macedonia has blocked the process again. The idea of separating the two countries and allowing Albania to progress was considered by a number of member states, but as European media report, the idea is to continue the bloc with both countries, Albania and North Macedonia. In an effort to unblock the process, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev met on Thursday evening in Paris with the President of France Emmanuel Macron, the main initiator of the postponement of the opening of accession talks in 2019. The French President, however , now supports the opening of negotiations: “The European Union decided in March last year to start negotiations with your country and Albania and now is the time to concretize that decision and France actively supports this decision. North Macedonia deserves to start negotiations without delay. "I am personally involved in finding a solution with Bulgaria," said President Macron in a statement before the working dinner. The Dutch government has also announced its readiness to support the start of accession talks. Two letters from the Dutch government to parliament indicate that during the General Affairs Council on 22 June, the government intends to support the adoption of negotiating frameworks and the planning of Intergovernmental Conferences with North Macedonia and Albania.