The European ambitions of Albania and Northern Macedonia were held back by the EU Council of Ministers last October, when some member states - particularly France - vetoed the start of accession negotiations with the two Balkan countries .
The proposal of Northern Macedonia
It was precisely on the question of negotiations that a proposal was received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia, Nikola Dimitrov: a merit-based assessment and, if necessary, the separation of the two countries' negotiations so that Albania and Northern Macedonia are judged individually and not as a single block.
"A country's successes are good news for the whole region. We believe that Tirana will be ready to undertake the European path, opening negotiations with both countries would be the best solution. But if this is not possible, it is better to open the doors of Europe to one or the other country than to neither. ”- recently declared in an interview Dimitrov according to i Albanian media.
The Dutch foreign minister, Stef Blok, has also expressed himself on the same line, declaring that "the two countries can be assessed separately based on merit". However, this possibility has not yet been discussed in the EU.
Indeed, in the margins of the NATO summit held in London last week, French President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his opposition to the separation of the two countries' negotiations and that, while acknowledging the efforts made by Northern Macedonia and Albania, at the base there both the need for a reform of the procedures concerning the EU negotiations.
The secretary of state for foreign affairs of France, Amélie de Montchalin, spoke of a more effective, concrete and credible enlargement process.
"We are now seeing that the process does not work for a number of reasons: it is taking too long, it is disappointing, it develops according to pre-established automatisms and does not attract the interest of citizens."- said the French secretary for foreign affairs.
De Montchalin also specified that the new methodology provides for strict conditions, financial support and the possibility for the EU to backtrack in the accession process of the candidate countries.
"It is time to abandon the big stories and implement the essential changes. Citizens of the Western Balkans expect a lot from the EU."- continued de Montchalin.