EU Ministers of Foreign and European Affairs met on 26 June 2018 in Luxembourg to discuss draft conclusions of the June European Council and held a first hearing on the rule of law in Poland. They are expected to adopt today conclusions on enlargement and the Stabilisation and Association Process.
Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, asked about Albania’s and FYR of Macedonia’s integration process said that:
Stability, peace and democracy in the Western Balkans play a crucial role for all of us in the EU. That is why I highly appreciate the efforts undertaken by both Albania and the FYR of Macedonia to strengthen the rule of law, independence of judiciary, fight against corruption. Germany is ready to support the FYR of Macedonia on its way towards the EU. We are ready to send the green light and I would like to encourage our friends in the Netherlands and France to join us.
Regarding Albania, it is about fulfilling a number of additional conditions that will have to be examined by the Commission and the Council. Then we will need a unanimous decision for the opening of the chapters, but we can already send a green light today for accession discussions with Albania and the FYR of Macedonia.
I don’t want to speculate about further dates. It is a compromise because we could raise some concerns today and we could make clear that especially Albania has fulfilled some pre-conditions to open the chapters for the negotiations. That could be a pragmatic way to overcome the dispute within the Council.