German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared from Zagreb, where she is participating in the Congress of the European People's Party, that she will be speaking with France to create the conditions for the start of the accession negotiations with the EU of Albania and Northern Macedonia.
The German chancellor wants as soon as possible an agreement with France concerning the reform of the enlargement methodology of the European Union, as declared at the end of the meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
"We support the Croatian government's plans to organize a joint conference with the countries of the Western Balkans in the full European Union format. It will be important to create the conditions for the start of negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia.
Now we need to talk to France and do it in a very intense way, to establish the elements to be improved and modified in the enlargement process. We are ready to discuss it."- Angela Merkel told the press.
For the latter, the reform of the enlargement methodology "it must offer the countries of the Western Balkans a tangible prospect of membership and must not make the EU withdraw from its promises"
The new approach to enlargement proposed by France is based on four different principles: gradual accession, strict conditions, tangible benefits and the possibility for the EU to backtrack in the accession process.
"The accession negotiations will be organized in political blocs, in which the candidate states will gradually be included. To move on to the next stage, states must efficiently meet precise criteria.
[...] Strict conditions, which require the adoption of objectively verifiable indicators, should allow for long-term convergence towards European standards of rule of law, as well as economic and social convergence.
[...] The tangible benefits for the candidate countries relate to increasing financial support. These benefits are currently lacking, which affects the continuation of migratory movements. [...] The EU will have the opportunity to go back and get out of the accession process, to ensure the credibility and importance of the process.”- reads the document.