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Final decision to open EU accession talks with N. Macedonia, Albania takes time - Tusk

Final decision to open EU accession talks with N. Macedonia, Albania takes time - Tusk President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, Author:EU Council/All Rights Reserved

SKOPJE (North Macedonia), June 12 (SeeNews) – The president of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that reaching consensus among 28 EU member states when to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania might take more time than he would like.

“I personally believe that there can only be one decision: to launch the negotiations in line with the European Commission's recommendations, both with North Macedonia and Albania. The question today is, not if, but when,” Tusk said in a press release, following a meeting with North Macedonia's president Stevo Pendarovski in Brussels.

Tusk also said that over the last two years, North Macedonia has delivered all the right political signals that the EU was expecting from the candidate countries.

“To keep in line with my role as President of the European Council, I do not want to prejudge the EU's decisions. You have done everything that was expected of you. But I want to be honest with you: not all member states are prepared to make the decision on opening negotiations in the coming days,” Tusk noted.

But, there is no doubt that the place of North Macedonia and the whole region is in the EU, he added.

On Tuesday, as many as 13 European Union member states said they are calling for the opening of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia later this month.   

The foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Malta, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and the Slovak Republic reiterate their continued support for the Western Balkans on their European path, the ministers said in a joint statement.

The Council is expected to decide to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in June.

North Macedonia is a EU candidate country since 2005 and Albania since 2014.