French President Emmanuel Macron has said France will vote for opening EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia if the European Commission’s report is positive, Reuters reports.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Macron reportedly said: “We are waiting for the report in March… depending on that if the results are positive and confidence is established then we should be in a position to open the negotiations.”
In its last report in 2019, the EC recommended the opening of EU talks with the two Balkan countries but President Macron and other EU leaders postponed the decision.
Macron’s positive statement today comes after the EC drafted a new enlargement methodology that is expected apply to Albania and North Macedonia for the first time.
A few weeks before the EC report, the Albanian government has started controversial campaigns against crime and corruption (read here, here, and here), two of the main concerns of EU countries blocking the opening of talks. It has also agreed with the opposition to complete the electoral reform before the end of March.
The EC report in March is expected to be positive for both countries. Based on Macron’s positive remarks, this means that the probability for them to open EU talks at the Zagreb Summit in May is high.