[Travel News] EU Initiates Accession Talks With Albania & North Macedonia

It has been reported that the European Union has started conducting negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia regarding their potential admission into the EU.

Ursula Von Der Leyen, the European Union Commission President, viewed this recent development to be a historic milestone in a joint press release alongside Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Dimitar Kovacevski.

She congratulated the two Balkan countries on their rule of laws as well as the reformations carried out to tackle corruptions. She said it was an important achievement for the leaders and the people.

According to Anadolu Agency, the European Union Commission President complemented both governments, saying: “The governments of North Macedonia and Albania did not implement the reforms just for EU accession, but because they are good for your countries and are already delivering a better quality of life for your people.”

North Macedonia applied to join the EU in 2005, whereas it was 2014 when Albania was considered to be a candidate. However, because of historical and linguistic reasons, North Macedonia’s admission progress has been occluded by the Bulgarian authorities since 2020.

The talk regarding the accession of Albania and North Macedonia happened following a parliament on a proposal from France to handle Bulgarian’s obstructing the process.

Regarding this issue, Petr Fiala, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, has shared that the admission of Albania and North Macedonia into the EU would strengthen it.

He stated that: “On behalf of the Czech Presidency, the EU Council congratulates Albania and North Macedonia on this milestone. We will be stronger from your choice that has already been tested many times.”

The Prime Minister has also praised the stance that both nations had adopted in response to Russia militarising its conflict with Ukraine.

He pointed out that: “Given the Russian aggression, we appreciate your position to have the same security policy as the European Union. We must be together all the time.”

Furthermore, he has also promised both countries Czech’s support on the process of accession.

Mr. Fiala stressed that: “The future of the Western Balkans is within the EU, and for that, I wish you membership as soon as possible!”

Joseph Borrell also shared his view on the recent development of Albania and North Macedonia’s progress to full EU membership, marking it to be a historical milestone, especially since both countries have spent years waiting in the admission process without any real advancement.

Previously, the EU had proceeded with the admission of Croatia into its Schengen Zone in late June. Croatia has been under the Schengen review procedures from 2016 to 2020. The decision to advance the country into Schengen Zone followed its fulfilling all of the acquis.

Croatia is the latest country to join the EU on July 1, 2013.

Khoa Pham

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