Press release: Letter regarding the accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania

Dear members of the European Council,

Ahead of the Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council meetings set for June 17 and June 18 respectively, we, the Young European Federalists, call the members of the European Council / Council of the European Union to grant opening of the accession negotiations with the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Albania in June 2019, as envisioned in the Council conclusions on Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process, adopted by the Council on 26 June 2018.

As a pro-European youth and political organisation which stands for a united, federal and democratic Europe, we believe in Europe as a home to all European nations and peoples. Echoing on our resolution “For the Integration of the Western Balkans” adopted at the Federal Committee in Skopje (March 23-25, 2018), we are strongly convinced that the European project will not be accomplished without North Macedonia and Albania as its integrative parts.

Both North Macedonia and Albania have made significant steps in implementing the reforms required by both the European Commission and European Council as a precondition for the start of the accession negotiations. This progress was recognised in the 2019 country reports of the European Commission which proposed start of the accession negotiations with the two countries as soon as possible.

What is more, we strongly believe that the Prespa Agreement between North Macedonia and Greece demonstrated not only great courage and persistence of the Macedonian and Greek government, but also a bright example of what Europe, in its essence, means. This effort needs to be valorised and rewarded because it opens a (new) path for peaceful resolution of remaining bilateral issues not only in the Western Balkans but across the whole European continent.

Failing to deliver the promises made to North Macedonia and Albania will send a negative message to the two countries and their overwhelmingly pro-European populations. Not giving a green light will reverse the progress made, endanger the stability, and halt the regional cooperation in the Western Balkans. Needless to say, with such a move the European Union risks losing its credibility in the region. Therefore, the Young European Federalists call the European Council / Council of the European Union to open the accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania without any further delay.

With respect,

The Young European Federalists

About JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO active with 13.000 members active in more than 30 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.

More info

JEF Europe
European Secretariat
+32 2 512 00 53