The European Council’s only conclusion on the issue of opening accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia was the following sentence:
“The European Council will revert to the issue of enlargement before the EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May 2020.”
The EU leaders failed to agree on any other statement regarding the future of the enlargement process, including any encouraging messages for the two Balkan countries.
Their decision to neither set a date, nor officially refuse or postpone the opening of talks, but rather “revert to the issue” before summer 2020 seems to leave both countries in limbo and the nature of the future enlargement process unclear.
Many EU leaders expressed disappointment at their failure to reach a unanimous decision, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein, Italian PM Giuseppe Conte, EUCO President Donald Tusk, President of the EC Jean-Claude Junker, and EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn.