Scholz calls for EU to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania -Breaking
© Reuters. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reacts to North Macedonian Prime minister Dimitar Kuvacevski’s reaction at the news conference they attended in Skopje on June 11, 2022. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski
SKOPJE (Reuters] – To fulfill its commitment to the Western Balkans integration, the European Union must start talks with North Macedonia or Albania about accession.
Scholz, speaking in Skopje said Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine had made it vital for Europe to be united. He also thanked North Macedonia for its support of the sanctions against Russia.
Scholz, a North Macedonian prime minister Dimitar Kuvacevski said that “it’s important to add a new dimension into this process.”
“I will be a champion for the next steps.”
The EU accession to Albania and other countries that resulted from Yugoslavia’s disintegration and ethnic conflicts of the 1990s is supported by those who believe it will reduce tensions in the region, combat growing Russian and Chinese influence, and improve living standards.
Although four of them – Albania and Montenegro have been given candidate status but have not yet started the accession process, they are all eligible. The process itself has been stalled over recent years due to doubts regarding the wisdom of EU enlargement.
Kovacevski highlighted the “many hard reforms” North Macedonia had undergone to be a part of the 27-member bloc. He also suggested that it changed its name to conform to Greek objections.
There is currently a conflict with Bulgaria regarding history and language.
Scholz has been acting as mediator on his trip to the Western Balkans and will travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, to meet with Kiril Petkov, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria.
In order to reduce tensions in the region and combat Russian and Chinese influences, the chancellor declared Western Balkans EU membership a top foreign policy priority.
The President visited Serbian and Kosovo in Friday’s visit, after they declared their independence from Belgrade. He urged them to come to an agreement on normalizing relations.