Montag, 24.02.2020 03:19 Uhr

Improvement of the EU’s enlargement process

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 11.02.2020, 12:43 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 2238x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The European Parliament is debating the improvement of the EU’s enlargement process and in particular the accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania because both countries seem to meet the requirements to start negotiations. The debate with Commissioner Várhelyi will assess the recently published renewed approach on enlargement that should give new impetus to the European Union enlargement process.

“The EU will continue to be seen as credible if it delivers on its commitments to uphold a merit-based process” - declared Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, when he presented the reviewed enlargement methodology in the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) last week. During the protracted negotiations and preparations, stronger political steering and high-level engagement from member states is needed. The methodology also includes reversibility, meaning that if a country goes backwards in its reforms, the EU can reverse the process. Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey have already started accession negotiations. Albania and North Macedonia have the status of candidate countries, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidate countries.

Parliament expresses deep disappointment over the failure to agree because France, Denmark and the Netherlands blocked the decision on opening EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. EU Parliament stated that Albania and North Macedonia have made considerable efforts over the last few years and meet the EU’s criteria to start membership talks. Praising North Macedonia’s efforts to settle difficult bilateral issues with its neighbouring countries, the resolution of the EU Parliament also welcomes recent judiciary reforms in Albania.

Parliament stresses that the “non-decision” by EU leaders is a strategic mistake, which damages the EU’s credibility and sends a negative message to other possible candidate countries. It could also allow other foreign actors - whose activity might not be in line with EU values and interests - to engage more closely with both Albania and North Macedonia. A reform of the enlargement process, advocated by some countries, should not hinder Albania and North Macedonia, which already meet the requirements to be assessed on their own merits and objective criteria, and not judged by domestic political agendas in other countries, says the text.

The European Parliament urged EU countries to act conscientiously towards Albania and North Macedonia and to take a unanimous positive decision at the next meeting. Parliament should also step up its democracy support activities to ensure that the national parliaments in the Western Balkans play their role as engines for democratic reform.

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