Press release: It is time to deliver what North Macedonia and Albania deserve!

Yesterday, the European Council decided not to decide on the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, disregarding the positive recommendations received by the European Commission.

“The decision of the European Council not to open accession negotiations yet calls into question the credibility of the EU as an actor on the Western Balkans. This is a risk for stability and the further democratic development in the region. North Macedonia and Albania have undertaken extensive reforms and fulfilled all criteria for opening negotiations. The drive towards EU integration of Western Balkan countries is not a given but requires the EU as a reliable and credible partner. It is time for EU Member States to deliver on our promises”, comments Christopher GLÜCK, President of JEF Europe.

“By postponing the decision on opening negotiations, the Council is endangering the European project of North Macedonia and Albania, fails to provide the pro-European governments we want to see with the necessary support and in the long run risks regional stability in the Western Balkans.

As an organisation that strives for a more democratic and united Europe, we are deeply concerned about the impact of this delay and the disappointment that it might cause to the overwhelmingly pro-European citizens in the region. The same citizens have seen their countries take great steps and  progress to fulfil the EU`s requirements on democracy and rule of law, including in the case of North Macedonia by agreeing on the contentious Prespa agreement with Greece, as stated even in the European Commission’s country reports last February.

Therefore, JEF Europe recalls the EU its historical duty towards the Balkans as the European family will not be complete until their integration becomes a reality and the EU delivers on its promises to Albania and North Macedonia”, continues Glück.

More info

JEF Europe
European Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53