Germany is pushing EU member states to approve the start of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia in June, before the end of the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will arrive in Albania today to express Germany’s full support for the first intergovernmental conference to be held between the EU and the Western European country within a month from now.
He visited Albania’s neighbor North Macedonia yesterday with the same purpose, in a move that appears to show Germany’s firm position not to decouple the European paths of the two countries.
In March 2020, the European leaders took the political decision to open talks with Albania and North Macedonia, but put a number of conditions for Albania to meet before it sits in talks. It remains unclear whether all 27 EU member states would agree with the European Commission’s assessment that Albania has met all conditions.
However, Bulgaria has vetoed North Macedonia’s advancement over identity and language issues. Germany is now the main EU member state pushing not to separate the two countries’ progress in the EU path, and to decide on a date for talks to start with both countries.