The start of EU accession talks with Albania in December does not seem quite probable for Johann Wadephul, the deputy chairman of the largest German party CDU/CSU.
In a meeting with foreign journalists on Thursday in Berlin, Wadephul said that Albania still has to meet the conditions set by the Bundestag, Deutsche Welle reports.
He added that the first intergovernmental conference with North Macedonia could be held as soon as the country resolves the issues raised by Bulgaria.
“On September 26, 2019, we decided in parliament to open negotiations with Albania. It cost me a lot of energy, but we set some preconditions and if they are not met, then I will have a hard time convincing my colleagues in the parliamentary group to support the process,” Wadephul said.
He stressed that the German parliament and the EU should make sure that the conditions set on Albania “are taken seriously and implemented fully.”
The German deputy also spoke about the Albanian electoral reform, which is another condition set by Germany for the launch of the intergovernmental conference. He stressed that much of the reform agreed between the majority and opposition “was repealed in an exclusionary process, namely by introducing the system of open lists, instead of electoral coalitions.”
“This exclusionary procedure contradicts the Bundestag’s request for an inclusive process, which was also recommended by the OSCE,” Wadephul said regarding the Socialist majority’s decision to make more changes to the electoral system after the agreed reform.
Asked by reporters what Albania and Northern Macedonia can expect from the regular European Council on December 10-11, Wadephul simply said that he “hopes for progress”.