PES European Affairs Ministers support pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia

15/10/2019

PES GAC ministerial - 15 October 2019

The European Ministers from the Party of European Socialists urged the immediate start of EU membership talks with Albania and North Macedonia, at their meeting today in Luxembourg.

The Chair of the meeting, German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said:

“The EU is a great role model and it has enormous influence over its neighbours. We must keep exerting that positive influence by opening the door to pre-accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. Both countries have strengthened their democracies and stepped up necessary efforts of modernisation under their current progressive leaderships. We must encourage them to keep following that path, and promote stability and prosperity in the region. That’s why we need to send the right signals”.

The members of the General Affairs Council from the PES welcomed at the meeting the acting foreign minister of Albania Gent Cakaj and the foreign affairs minister of North Macedonia – Nikola Dimitrov.

“The EU’s soft power should be used to support pro-European forces everywhere in Europe, especially in the Western Balkans, our immediate neighbourhood. This is in the EU’s best interest”, Michael Roth added. 

The PES ministers reiterated that by delaying again the start of the accession process for Albania and North Macedonia, the EU would leave a strategic vacuum that might be filled by other players.

In June 2018, the EU held out the prospect of the two countries being invited to start membership talks and the European Commission declared in May this year that both had made the necessary progress on democratic standards and the rule of law.

The meeting was attended by: 

  • Michael Roth, Chair - Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Gent Cakaj - Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Albania
  • Jeppe Kofod - Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark
  • Tytti Tuppurainen - Minister for European Affairs, Finland
  • Vincenzo Amendola - Minister for European Affairs, Italy
  • Nikola Dimitrov - Minister for Foreign Affairs, North Macedonia
  • Edward Zammit Lewis - Minister for European Affairs and Equality, 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
  • Simona Bonafè - Vice President of the S&D Group European Parliament
  • Frazer Clarke - Deputy Secretary-General, European Parliament

This communication does not reflect the views of the Danish party.