EU to start accession talks with 2 countries next year

European Council plans to open accession negotiations with Macedonia, Albania next year

EU to start accession talks with 2 countries next year

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Union decided Tuesday to start accession negotiations next year with Macedonia and Albania.

The move comes as the European Council adopted conclusions on the EU's enlargement policy and the EU-Western Balkans stabilization and association process.

The conclusions reaffirmed the EU's commitment to the enlargement process and to the European perspective of the Western Balkans.

The Council agreed to respond positively to the progress made by Macedonia and Albania and set out the path towards opening accession negotiations with both countries in June 2019.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini had recommended the EU Council in April to start accession negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.

Greece, both a NATO and EU member, has long opposed Macedonia’s official name, as it has a region by the same name in the north of its country.

Due to Athens’ veto, the dispute has been one of the main obstacles to Macedonia’s ambitions to join NATO and the EU.

On June 17, Greece and its northern neighbor signed a historic accord on renaming Macedonia to the Republic of Northern Macedonia, ending a longstanding dispute between the two countries.

The agreement opened the way for the start of Macedonia's accession negotiations to the EU.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Haziran 2018, 11:06