Accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania must start without delay

25/02/2020 - European Semester must be a tool for growth and social wellbeing

PES GAC ministerial - 25 February 2020

PES GAC Ministerial meeting: meeting Chair and German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth greets Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Zrinzo Azzopardi, Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds

The revised enlargement process must finally open the door for the accession negotiation with countries that meet the criteria, ministers from the progressive political family said this morning at a meeting in Brussels.

Progressive ministers of European affairs met before the start of today’s General Affairs Council to discuss enlargement. The Ministers also met European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and exchanged on the review of European economic governance. 

PES GAC ministerial - 25 February 2020

PES GAC Ministerial meeting (pictured left to right): Jonas Fernandez MEP, Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni, meeting Chair and German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth, PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet, and Pedro Marques MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme.

German Minister for Europe and Chair of the PES GAC Ministers meetings Michael Roth said: 

"The Western Balkans are a strategic partner of the EU. The new enlargement approach must now unlock without further delay the European path of the countries in the region: those who are determined to join and undergo all necessary reforms will be accepted for accession talks, like North Macedonia and Albania.

"Predictability is essential to build a long-lasting relationship with the region. Europe must live up to its commitments."

On economic governance he added:

"It is absolutely necessary that Europe meets the financial needs for the climate, digital and social transitions ahead of us. For that, we need more investment and more social convergence."

The meeting was attended by:

  • Michael Roth, Chair, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, European Commission
  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Vincenzo Amendola, Minister for European Affairs, Italy
  • Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Malta
  • Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Portugal
  • Frantisek Ruzicka, State Secretary for European Affairs, Slovakia
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs, Sweden
  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, S&D Group and PES
  • Jonas Fernandez MEP, S&D Group ECON Committee Coordinator, European Parliament
  • Frazer Clarke, Deputy Secretary General of the S&D Group, European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES