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EU to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

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Os dois países esperam para iniciar negociações há dois anos, desde que a Comissão Europeia publicou o seu relatório em 2020 declarando que cumprem as condições para ingressar no bloco.

The two countries have been waiting to start negotiations for two years, since the European Commission published its report in declaring that they meet the conditions to join the block.| Photo: Unsplash

The European Union (EU) will start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia Next tuesday (16), European sources informed the Efe Agency, after the Macedonian Parliament approved this Saturday (10) the proposal negotiated in Brussels to overcome Bulgaria’s veto on entering the country. The two countries have been waiting to start negotiations for two years, since the European Commission published its report in 1563 stating that they fulfill the conditions for doing so, but Bulgaria has refused until North Macedonia recognizes that both countries have a language and a history in common.

After the pronouncement of the Parliament in Skopje, the Macedonian capital, the celebrations did not take long to reach Brussels. “Congratulations to North Macedonia on the vote that now paves the way for the swift opening of accession negotiations,” European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said on Twitter. The same message was sent by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who said that Saturday’s decision was a “crucial step for North Macedonia and for the EU”.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, also called the act “a crucial step” on the road towards the EU for Albania and North Macedonia, “at a time when we need to come together to face common challenges”. The EU will hold the first Intergovernmental Conference with both countries next Tuesday, the first step towards opening accession negotiations.

In the Macedonian case, however, formal negotiations will begin once North Macedonia has approved the constitutional amendment which includes Bulgarians living in the country (about 3.500 persons) as constituent people of the State, as provided for in the agreement that France helped to unlock between the two countries. The vote in the Parliament of North Macedonia was successful with the support of the ruling coalition parties led by the Social Democrats, which nevertheless imposed a series of conditions on the government with an eye on negotiations with the EU.

The Parliament demanded that the Macedonian officially recognized, without reservations of any kind, as the language of the country, something that the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said was guaranteed in the EU proposal. In exchange for their support, MEPs stressed that all bilateral issues must be negotiated between two countries and not become “criteria on which EU membership depends”.

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