PES and progressive leaders from the Western Balkans call for pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

09/10/2019

Milutin Simovic, Viorica Dancila, Sergei Stanishev and Radmila Sekerinska

Milutin Simovic, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, Viorica Dancila, Prime Minister of Romania, Sergei Stanishev, PES President, and Radmila Sekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister of North Madeconia.

The Party of European Socialists (PES) and members of the social democratic parties of the Western Balkans, including Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of North Macedonia Radmila Sekerinska, have called for the EU to initiate pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, at a Regional Forum in Budapest on 7-8 October.

The progressive leaders underlined the positive contribution the prospect of EU accession will have in promoting good neighbourly relations, democracy, and modernisation in a region which was scarred by war just a generation ago.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The EU has the potential to help build peace, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans. Its influence and power to drive positive reform among the governments in the region is huge, even by the mere prospect of accession. That is why we think it is time that Albania and North Macedonia – both run by progressive pro-European governments - are given the chance to initiate pre-accession talks. They, too, should be given the chance to strive for future accession, based on their own merits, on the basis of the criteria set by the General Affairs Council in June 2019. This is not just good for Albania and North Macedonia, it is in the geo-strategic interest of the European Union.”

The meeting concluded with a declaration urging the EU to take the decision to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia this month, as was set at the General Affairs Council in June 2019.

Signatories to the declaration:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists, PES
  • Viorica Dancila, Prime Minister of Romania and President of the Social Democratic Party, PSD, Romania
  • Radmila Sekerinska, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of North Macedonia, President of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, SDSM
  • Milutin Simovic, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Policy and Financial System and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Montenegro, Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS
  • Davor Bernardic, Croatian MP, President of the Social Democratic Party, SPD, Croatia
  • Pavel Filip, President of the Democratic Party of Moldova, DP
  • Gyula Hegyi, Vice President of Hungarian Socialist Party, MSZP
  • Taulant Balla, Albanian MP, Secretary General of the Socialist Party of Albania, PS
  • Zarko Obradovic, Socialist Party, DS Serbia