After the Council’s decision to open accession negotiations, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee Andreas Schieder MEP (S&D, AT) said: “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate North Macedonia and all its citizens on this much-awaited decision. This is excellent news for the region and for the whole European Union, and is a much-needed signal of unity and coordinated action in these difficult times.
“The European Commission and the Council have confirmed that North Macedonia meets all conditions to start accession negotiations. The country has delivered tangible and sustainable results in its reform efforts, including by finding agreement on the name issue and by enacting the necessary constitutional changes, as well as adopting the crucial Law on the Public Prosecutor’s office before the dissolution of the Parliament. We are very pleased, therefore, that no additional conditions have been set for the country ahead of the first intergovernmental conference.”
“Members of the European Parliament delegation to the EU-North Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee are keen to restart our inter-parliamentary dialogue as soon as the Sobranie delegation is constituted after the upcoming parliamentary elections. While it is regrettable that the elections need to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 emergency, we remain confident that, together, we will be able to face this global challenge. The EU is ready to support the region with emergency aid for health care systems and contribute to the region’s socio-economic recovery.”
“We will continue to support North Macedonia on its way to becoming a full member of the European Union and look forward to our fruitful and constructive parliamentary dialogue.”
Writing in EU Reporter, Dr Vladimir Krulj, an Economic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), London, said that talks with Albania and North Macedonia were expected to begin in October 2019, but were blocked by Denmark and the Netherlands.
“Yesterday, heads of the governments of the 27 EU Member States have endorsed the Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with these two countries,” he said. “This will greatly sharpen Europe’s focus on the need for EU solidarity in these difficult times.”
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has also welcomed with great pleasure the decision of the Council to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. They have underlined that during these difficult times for the region, for Europe and the world, it is of crucial importance to send Albania and North Macedonia the encouraging and positive message that we stand united and that, in the words of the President of the European Commission, ‘we share the same continent, the same history, the same culture – and that we will share the same destiny too’. They moreover stressed the importance of spreading European democratic values and legal standards to the Region, despite the many challenges it faces.