Dutch Parliament Votes Against Opening EU Accession Negotiations with Albania

Today, the Dutch Parliament passed a motion asking the government to block the opening of EU accession negations with Albania for 2019.

The motion was submitted by MPs Pieter Omtzigt (Christian Democrats), Anne Mulder (Liberal-Conservatives), and Nico Drost (Christian Union), whose parties are part of the governing coalition in the Netherlands. It got 105 votes in favor out of the 150 MPs of the Dutch Parliament, which is more than a two-third majority.

According to the Dutch government, Albania is not achieving tangible results in the fight against corruption and organized crime.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said that the European Commission recommendation to open accession negotiations with Albania was premature. He added that Albania has not fulfilled the criteria on fight against organized crime and corruption.

Today’s vote in the Dutch Parliament confirms the blocking of accession negotiations between EU and Albania. It comes several weeks after the parliament demanded the government to ask the European Commission to suspend the visa-free travel for Albanians in the Schengen area.

A second motion on Albania failed to pass the parliamentary vote today. It was submitted by MP Vicky Maeijer and demanded to never open negotiations with Albania.