Decision to overlook North Macedonia and Albania is a deep disappointment

18/10/2019

The flags of the Rebublic of North Macedonia, the European Union, and Albania

The flags of the Rebublic of North Macedonia, the European Union, and Albania

The European Council’s failure to green-light accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania is deeply disappointing and a missed opportunity for Europe, the Party of European Socialists (PES) said today. The European Socialists have been a long-standing ally of the two countries as they have attempted to begin the European integration process.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“North Macedonia and Albania have worked hard to jump through every hoop set by the European Union, so it is a cause of deep disappointment that the decision on accession negotiations has been delayed yet again. Europe has missed a precious opportunity to expand our community of shared values. It was the two progressive governments in Albania and North Macedonia that got their nations this far. I would like to encourage the two prime ministers, Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev, to stay strong. I can promise them that support from the PES will only get stronger.”

At a meeting yesterday ahead of the European Council summit, PES President Sergei Stanishev and leaders from the progressive family again voiced their support for North Macedonia and Albania. At the European Council itself, the persistent efforts of the progressive Prime Minister of Finland, Antti Rinne, managed to keep the issue on the agenda for the second day of the summit, when it was decided that the matter would be reopened again before the next EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb in May next year.